A 44-year old northern white rhino died of natural causes at the San Diego Zoo on Sunday. The Zoo said in a statement that “With Angalifu’s passing, only five northern white rhinos are left on the planet, including Nola, our elderly female.”
Angalifu’s death follows the death of another northern white rhino in a Kenyan wildlife preserve in late October. That white rhino, called Suni, was one of only two breeding males left on earth. All five remaining northern white rhinos are in captivity. A related species called the southern white rhino was once also nearly extinct, but rebounded with conservation attention. The southern white rhino now numbers about 20,000. But its numbers never reached a mere five before conservation kicked in.