Ami Vitale. The Last Goodbye, 2018.

By Ami Vitale

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Joseph Wachira comforts Sudan, the last living male northern white rhino on the planet, moments before his death on March 19, 2018 at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in northern Kenya. He died surrounded by love, together with the people who committed their lives to protecting him. From the moment I heard about the bold plan to airlift four of the last Northern White Rhinos from Safari Park Dvör Karlove Zoo in the Czech Republic back to Africa in 2009, until today, when Najin and Fatu, his daughter and granddaughter, are the last two remaining of their kind, this story has shaped the lives of countless dedicated keepers, scientists & conservationists.

I believe this moment can be a catalyst to awaken humanity to the reality of the losses we face and inspire action. In a hopeful twist, scientists from The Biorescue Project have already created 22 pure northern white rhino embryos which are awaiting implantation in a southern white rhino surrogate.

National Geographic Magazine photographer and filmmaker Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Learn more about Ami Vitale.

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