Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, in a photo taken at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county, Kenya, in May last year. The 45-year-old rhino was euthanised on Monday after his health deteriorated due to old age. Picture: AP Photo

Cape Town - A conservationist who cared for the world's last male northern white rhino has shared a heartbreaking message on Facebook about Sudan's death. 

James Mwenda, who works for the Olpejeta Conservancy in Laikipia county, Kenya, wrote: "Good bye Sudan,I don't need to say it here that I loved you.you know it well from all the talks and the moments we had together,being with you for the last few years completely changed me,and as you taught me daily I continued to teach and inspire my fellow humans to be conscious and sensitive of our environment.i promised to be your voice(I ain't sure whether I duly and diligently fulfilled that) but I did my best."

Sudan was euthanised on Monday, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world although scientists still hope they can save it from extinction.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy said in a statement it had made the decision with wildlife officials and his previous carers to euthanise on Monday the 45-year-old rhino due to the rapid deterioration in his condition.

Sudan was being treated for age-related complications that had affected his muscles and bones and also gave him extensive skin wounds.

The rhino had spent two weeks in late February and early March lying in his pen due to discomfort from a deep wound on his right hind leg.

"His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal," Ol Pejeta said. "The veterinary team from the Dver Kralove Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanise him."

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World's last male northern white rhino dies

IOL and Reuters