We are honored to launch Vital Impacts founder Ami Vitale’s newest award-winning film “Remembering Sudan,” which documents the heartbreaking crisis facing the northern white rhino and the incredible efforts to save the species.
“Remembering Sudan” tells the story of the death of the last male northern white rhino through the experience of Zacharia Mutai, a keeper at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where Sudan spent his final years. “It was silent, except for the rain falling, a single bird scolding, and the muffled sorrow of Sudan’s caretakers,” Vitale says. “Watching a creature die - one that is the last of its kind - is something I hope never to experience again. It felt like watching our own demise.” Five years after witnessing this powerful moment, Vitale returned to Ol Pejeta to highlight the important relationship between keepers like Zacharia Mutai and the creatures they have committed their lives to protecting.
With Sudan’s death, the northern white rhino is functionally extinct, but remarkably, all hope is not lost. Thanks to an international consortium of scientists known as the BioRescue Project, there are now 24 northern white rhino embryos that are ready to be transferred into surrogate southern white rhino females in the near future. This will have profound implications for the other species of rhino that are also critically endangered, as well as the more than 42,000 animals threatened with extinction on Earth today and the more than 16,000 endangered animals on Earth today.