One off documentary Sudan: The Last Of The Rhinos, airing on Wednesday 28 June at 9.00pm on BBC Two, tells the remarkable story of Sudan, a 43 year-old Northern White Rhino and the very last male of his kind on the planet.
Forty years ago, Sudan was snatched from his homeland in Central Africa by animal catchers working for safari parks. While Sudan was living as an exhibit in a zoo, the rest of his species were annihilated by aggressive poaching in the wild and a failure to breed in captivity.
Today, Sudan is kept under 24-hour armed guard in Kenya alongside the two remaining females, and has become an unwitting celebrity and the focus of a desperate 11th hour battle to save this sub-species now teetering on the brink of extinction.
Rowan Deacon’s film tells this astonishing modern day fable through the international cast of characters who’ve been involved in Sudan’s life, including retired animal catchers, zoo keepers and conservationists who tried and ultimately failed to preserve the tiny stronghold of Northern Whites Rhinos left living in the wild.
When Sudan dies a subspecies that has walked the earth for five million years will die with him. Faced with this impending tragedy, a team of scientists have hatched a rescue plan for Sudan. The film follows the teams’ desperate 11th hour efforts to use cutting-edge animal fertility treatment to breed a new generation of Northern Whites Rhinos.
Combining testimony-led back story with rare and unseen archive of these near-extinct animal, Sudan: The Last Of The Rhinos is a timely exploration of whether humans have the power to bring back to life that which we have destroyed.
Sudan: The Last Of The Rhinos airs on Wednesday 28 June 2017 from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC Two.