On Monday, the last male Northern White Rhinoceros, Sudan, died at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya at the age of 45, due to multiple infections and failing health. Sudan lived in a 27 square mile enclosure for almost a decade on a game reserve along Mount Kenya. The white rhino was hunted (nearly to the point of extinction), and only two remain. Najin and Fatu are daughter and granddaughter of Sudan, and both live at the conservancy. Sudan lived a long life, according to the World Wildlife Foundation, the average lifespan of a white rhinoceros is about 40 years.

Sudan was euthanized on Monday after showing no signs of improvement, causing him to pass away of old age. Sudan captivated many with his story of strength and hope, which aroused and motivated people to learn more about wildlife. Learning how they can also contribute to the cause of saving dying species worldwide.

What caused the white rhinoceros to become extinct in the first place?

White rhinos are the second largest land mammals in the world after the elephant. White rhinos also have two horns: front horn reaches to about 37”-40”, while the smaller horn reaches 22”. This sadly makes the white rhino perfect game when it comes to evil acts such as poaching. There is a high demand for rhino horns, especially in Asia, and the reward drives local poachers to the retrieve these goods.

Due to harsh financial situations in Africa and such a high priced demand for the rhino horns, this pushed the northern white rhinoceros into extinction.

"His [Sudan] death is a cruel symbol of human disregard for nature, and it saddened everyone who knew him." Jan Stejskal, director of international projects at the Dvur Kralove Zoo told Agence France-Presse in a statement.

War and changes within the ecosystem and habitat also contributed to the extinction of the northern white rhinoceros. Sudan only survived these human-made afflictions due to being captured, then living in a Czech zoo before being transferred to Kenya in 2009. Sudan was guarded continuously -- day and night -- by an armed security detail, since his arrival due to the high threat of poachers.

Is there hope for the future?

Scientists are now attempting In Vitro Fertilization procedure. This procedure is commonly performed on human and other mammals with a steady success rate, but it has been unsuccessful when it comes to the rhino. Though, scientists refuse to give up on hope. They hope if they can extract Najin and Fatu’s eggs with the banked Northern White Rhino sperm that scientists harvested, they might be able to save the species from extinction. The future may be uncertain, and the procedure can take another decade to perfect, but all hope may not be lost for the northern white rhino.