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What the Death of a White Rhino Really Tells Us


What the Death of a White Rhino Really Tells Us

Jill Filipovic

Sudan, the last male northern white rhino in the world, died at the age of 45 in Kenya on Tuesday. Just two northern w—hite rhinos remain — Sudan's daughter and granddaughter. This majestic species has been all but wiped out by poaching, and may soon face the fate of the northern black rhino: extinction.


A great loss to the earth. All the fault of Man.

Does anyone know the number of animal and plant species that are going extinct every year, due to Man? I cannot remember, but I know we are in the midst of one of the Great Extinctions in history currently.

This saddens me…


There is some uncertainty as to the exact numbers.
Between 200 and 2,000 extinctions occur every year.

I imagine due to no being able to track everything. If a tree falls, or a species disappears forever…


Did San Francisco join Berkeley and other cities banning sales of fur?

Why not do that everywhere civilized people reside?


Yes, San Francisco did ban the sale of fur. The Board of Supervisors voted within the past day or two to do so.


a couple of weeks ago on pbs natrue we watched an episode called, “the last white rhino” but this article says he has a daughter and granddaughter. the zoologists tried to get a sperm sample, but gee not his own offspring.


Nowhere in the article is there a mention of human overpopulation and its effect on wildlife especially African. Why is this?


Some of the uncertainty is due to the fact that we don’t know how many species there are to begin with, especially in the most biodiverse areas (rain forests and reefs). Last time I checked, which has been some time now, the extinction rates were being estimated in part by a surrogate method using rain forest loss as an approximation for species loss. We don’t know how many species we’re losing or at what exact rate; we just know our best estimates indicate an extinction event. The web is badly frayed and accelerating toward collapse. The small comfort I take is that, while we may kill innumerable species, we likely will not kill evolution itself. This is only my opinion, but I believe life on Earth will go on in some form, maybe even with some humans (we are the ultimate weed, after all), nearly until the sun dies. Who knows?


Habitat loss is an important factor for many wildlife issues and I agree with you that it should almost never go unmentioned. It could be that in this case the demand for the horn was the driving factor - I really haven’t followed it closely enough to know. Certainly white people were capable of killing nearly all the North American bison well before they had squeezed out their habitat as well. When large animals face some perverse desire that humans have to see them dead or to get some product out of them, they are screwed.

We should have completely banned everything ivory 50 years ago in the US. I’m afraid I’ll be reading a story about the last wild Elephant in my lifetime too. (Probably there are enough zoo elephants to keep the genetic story alive). China should have cracked down on this idiotic aphrodisiac trade 50 years ago too.


Not to mention runaway human population growth in a story about disappearing rhinos and wildlife is political correctness run amok. Kenya’s population has grown from about 15 million in 1980 to around 47 million or so. Unsustainable for humans and it leaves little room for wildlife. Due to poverty, misogyny, religion, and/or ignorance, millions of women who want to limit family size lack access to family planning and its getting worse thanks to the Trump regime and those who helped elect him as clinics are closing as the US cuts off family planning assistance. Disgusting!


That “great and benevolent” Free Market which some few here sing paeans to and which its disciples claim shoul dbe “left alone free of government interference because it NATURAL” deemed the White Rhino as worth more to the Society dead and for its horn , then it was worth existing as a species on this Earth.

This is where assigning Monetary value to everything and where claiming that the Natural worlds only purpose is to serve man leads to. This is exceptionalism and Hubris taken to the extreme. It heart wrenching.


Humans need to stop having kids and developing , and leaving room for other species. Currently , other wild species only have fifteen per cent of their formerly wild lands to roam.


I imagine this was not mentioned because of humans preoccupation with having babies.


Thank you. If federal and state governments are unable to take commercial pressure off rare specie then cities can do it with referendums or many other ways.

California cities mostly phased out plastic bags before the state did anything about it, for example.


I believe we are in the Sixth Extinction.


It also tells us that the educational and communications potential of the Internet has not reached the entire world’s population yet. Science still takes a back seat to superstition where centuries old religions and destructive customs still prevail.

Other than bombs and natural causes, education seems the best way to control human overpopulation causing the Sixth Extinction.


But it does that in countries that have it too, like the US. Didn’t you know, science is now ‘fake news’ especially when it contradicts with the bible.


The conservative mantra of “to save animals, we should eat them because if there’s money involved in them then someone will step up and raise them for livestock. Then they won’t go extinct” obviously doesn’t hold true in practice. Besides, does that mean the only animals that will receive any protection are those that hold some economic value to humans? All I have to say to people who think like that is “go to hell”! I would straight up tell them “you hold no economic value to me; therefore you and your entire family can just die! Now, how does that make you feel?”


Science is also “fake news” whenever it threatens the business model of rich people.


The “free market” is unnatural. Nature stops organisms from owning more resources than one can defend. Money hoards ever more resources by compounding interest. It promotes overpopulation causing the loss of species diversity needed for evolution.