John Frederick Walker

Northern White Rhino Eggs Successfully Fertilized

Posted in conservation news, rhino news, Uncategorized by JFW on August 27, 2019

In breakthrough conservation news, Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya announced on August 23 that 7 out of 10 eggs harvested from the last two existing Northern White rhinos were successfully fertilized with previously frozen sperm from two Northern White rhinos.  (The last male of the species, Sudan, pictured here, died last year at the sanctuary.)  The hope is that viable embryos can be implanted into Southern White Rhino surrogate mothers, and that the Northern White rhino will not go extinct. Fingers crossed….

Sudan: “The Most Eligible Bachelor in the World”

Posted in conservation news, rhino news by JFW on April 25, 2017

I took this photo of Sudan, the last remaining male northern white rhino in existence, several years ago at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya.  He’s under 24/7 armed guard to protect him from poachers, and his horns have been shortened as an added precaution.  Sudan is getting on in years—he’s 43—and alas, shows little interest in the remaining pair of female northern white rhinos that share his corner of the wildlife sanctuary.

To keep this remarkable subspecies from going extinct, Ol Pejeta is raising funds to aid the development of in vitro fertilization technology that might work with females from the more numerous southern white rhino population.

It’s a race against time, and Tinder, the popular social app for meeting new people, has partnered with Ol Pejeta to introduce Sudan and the plight of the northern white rhino.

Sudan has quite a profile:  “I’m one of a kind….6ft tall and 5,000 lbs, if it matters.”  Swipe right, and Tinder users in 140 countries will be directed to a page from which they can donate.  Sounds like a great match.


JFW on Rhino Poaching and the Rhino Horn Trade Ban

Posted in conservation news, rhino news by JFW on October 14, 2016



In late August and early September I traveled to South Africa and Swaziland to look at what’s being done to combat the rhino poaching crisis.  My analysis is now online at National Geographic News.