As a tribute to Sudan, a northern white rhinoceros, I decided to do his Lego representation as I imagined him.
He was the last male of his kind.
This is his story.
Sudan was 45 years old, which is a lot for a rhino. His skin was creased all over with wrinkles around his eyes. He was gray, the color of stone.
In 2009 Sudan was one of only eight northern white rhinos left alive on the planet. A century ago there were hundreds of thousands of rhinos in Africa. By the early 1980s, hunting had reduced their numbers to around 19,000. Rhino horns, like our fingernails, are simply keratin, with no special curative powers, but people believe that they have healing powers, so you know the story.
In the last years of his life, Sudan had become a global celebrity, as a conservation icon. He lived under the protection of 24/7 armed guards. He received visitors who traveled from everywhere to see him. He weighed more than two tons but had the personality of a golden retriever. He would let people touch him and feed him snacks. Tourists got emotional because they knew they were laying hands on a singular creature, the last ever.
On March 19, 2018, the men scratched Sudan’s rough skin, said goodbye, made promises, and apologized for the sins of humanity. Finally, the veterinarians euthanized him. For a short time, he breathed heavily. And then he died.
Someday, Sudan would be reassembled in a museum, like a dodo or a Tyrannosaurus rex, and children would learn that once there had been a thing called a northern white rhinoceros.
And well, it is not a completely sad history, Sudan had a daughter, Najin, who gave birth to a granddaughter, Fatuand. They are the last northern white rhinos in the world, the problem is, that both are female, so, we depend on scientists to preserve the species, but for now, this is how it is.
Even though Sudan didn't have blue eyes, I pictured it like this, full of life, somewhere in Africa, with his daughter and his granddaughter.