Horny male seeks mate: Kenya's last northern white rhino joins Tinder

NAIROBI, April 25 (Reuters) - Like many guys using the Tinder dating app, Sudan loves the outdoors and travels widely. The catch: he's the world's last male white northern rhino and desperately needs to mate.

"I don't mean to be too forward, but the fate of my species literally depends on me," reads his profile. "I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. No problems. 6 ft tall and 5,000 pounds if it matters."

Conservationists are hoping that Sudan's Tinder profile will help them raise enough money for $9-million fertility treatment as all attempts at getting him to mate naturally have failed.

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Kenya's last northern white rhino looks for a mate
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Kenya's last northern white rhino looks for a mate
Members of the Maasai Cricket Warriors (L-R) Sambu Sintario, Feancis Ole Mishami, Sonyanga Ole Ngais and Jonathan Ole Mishami pose for a photohraph with the last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' after playing against the British Army Training Unit (BATUK) cricket team during a charity tournament called the "Last Male Standing" at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia national park, Kenya June 14, 2015. The cricket tournament is hosted at the home of the last surviving male northern white rhino, and hopes to raise awareness of the plight of endangered animals and the need for community involvement in conservation. The Maasai Cricket Warriors actively campaign against retrogressive traditional practices, such as female genital mutilation and early childhood marriages, while fighting to eradicate discrimination against women in Maasailand. Through cricket, they hope to promote healthier lifestyles and to also spread awareness about HIV/AIDS amongst youths. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' grazes at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia national park, Kenya June 14, 2015. A cricket tournament was hosted at the home of the last surviving male northern white rhino, and hopes to raise awareness of the plight of endangered animals and the need for community involvement in conservation. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Wardens assist the last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' as it grazes at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia national park, Kenya June 14, 2015. A cricket tournament was hosted at the home of the last surviving male northern white rhino, and hopes to raise awareness of the plight of endangered animals and the need for community involvement in conservation. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Sudan, 36, a male Northern White Rhinoceros that was shipped to Kenya from the Czech Republic grazes at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nanyuki town, 350 km (217 miles) north of the capital Nairobi January 19, 2010. Four rare, northern white rhinos, half the known population left in the world, were transported to Kenya from the Dvur Kralove zoo in northern Czech Republic in a last-ditch bid to save the species from extinction. White rhinos are the largest land mammals after elephants and typically live in herds of up to 14 animals. The numbers of the northern subspecies have plummeted from an estimated 500 in the 1970s due mainly to poachers. REUTERS/Noor Khamis (KENYA - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY)
A Northern White Rhino named Sudan walks into a crate at the zoo in Dvur Kralove nad Labem in the Czech Republic December 16, 2009. Eight white rhinos live in captivity - six at the zoo in Dvur Kralove and two in the San Diego zoo - and experts believe they are among the last of the species left on the planet, as the rest of the population were killed by war and the loss of their habitat in Africa. Officials at the Czech zoo said four of the rhinos will be moved to the Ol Pejeta reservation in Kenya on Saturday in an effort to conserve the population. REUTERS/Petr Josek (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
A close-up view of an eye of a Northern White Rhino named Sudan at the zoo in Dvur Kralove nad Labem in the Czech Republic December 16, 2009. Eight white rhinos live in captivity - six at the zoo in Dvur Kralove and two in the San Diego zoo - and experts believe they are among the last of the species left on the planet, as the rest of the population were killed by war and the loss of their habitat in Africa. Officials at the Czech zoo said four of the rhinos will be moved to the Ol Pejeta reservation in Kenya on Saturday in an effort to conserve the population. REUTERS/Petr Josek (CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
Rhino keeper Berry White gives a carrot to a Northern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) named Sudan at the zoo in Dvur Kralove nad Labem in the Czech Republic December 16, 2009. Eight white rhinos live in captivity - six at the zoo in Dvur Kralove and two in the San Diego zoo - and experts believe they are among the last of the species left on the planet, as the rest of the population were killed by war and the loss of their habitat in Africa. Officials at the Czech zoo said four of the rhinos will be moved to the Ol Pejeta reservation in Kenya on Saturday in an effort to conserve the population. REUTERS/Petr Josek(CZECH REPUBLIC - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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Scientists would use Sudan's sperm to fertilize an egg from one of the two last northern white rhino females: 17-year-old Satu or 27-year-old Najin. The embryo will be implanted in a surrogate southern white rhino, a far more common species.

"We tried everything to get them to mate naturally," said Elodie Sampere, the marketing manager at Kenya's Ol Pejeta conservancy, where all three white rhinos are accompanied by 24-hour armed guards.

"When he first tried to mount the girl, the rangers guided him ... but it is difficult with a rhino," she said.

"We removed them from a zoo environment, which was not conducive to natural instincts, and put them in a semi-wild environment. There were a couple of matings, but it never resulted in a pregnancy."

Poachers sell northern white rhinos horns for $50,000 per kilo, making them more valuable than gold or cocaine, and his keepers fear that Sudan, who at 43 is ancient for a rhino, may die or be killed before they can raise enough money.

"There's always that fear. He's old, he might die soon," said rhino expert Richard Vigne, the CEO of Ol Pejeta. "As long as the demand for rhino horn in the Far East persists, there will always be an ever-present threat."

A swipe right on Sudan's Tinder profile - available in 190 countries and 40 languages - directs users to the Ol Pejeta donation page: http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/

Just hours after he went online, the number of hits was so high that the Ol Pejeta website crashed. (Editing by Louise Ireland)

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