Rare animal species don’t usually go on dating apps, but an exception can be made for Sudan. The last male northern white rhinoceros on Earth, Sudan is now on popular dating app Tinder, where his profile reads that he is “one of a kind.”
Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Tinder announced a joint campaign on Tuesday to raise awareness regarding Sudan, and bring in funds to save the northern white rhino from extinction, Huffington Post reports. As Sudan’s dating profile says, “the fate of my species literally depends on me.”
Matt David, Tinder’s head of communications, said,
We partnered with [the conservancy] to give the most eligible bachelor in the world a chance to meet his match.
Sudan’s characteristics are likewise listed on his profile: “I perform well under pressure. I like to eat grass and chill in the mud. 6 ft tall and 5,000lbs if it matters.”
Tinder users across 140 countries could find Sudan’s profile when they open the app and swipe through potential dates. They have the option to swipe right on Sudan’s profile, and doing so sends a message featuring a link where users can donate.
There are only three remaining northern white rhinos on the planet, all of which are at the conservancy, where armed guards protect them 24/7. The other two are females named Najin and Fatu. Efforts to breed them have not been successful so far, and scientists have turned to in vitro fertilization as a last-ditch attempt to save the species.
Richard Vigne, CEO of the conservancy, said that IVF is costly, but remains the only solution. Researchers in the USA, Japan and Germany are currently looking into how IVF could work on Najin and Fatu, along with female southern white rhinos, using Sudan’s stored sperm.
There are around 17,000 southern white rhinos in the wild, and cross-breeding would be a better option than extinction, according to conservationists.
The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, which is helping with the IVF efforts, said that “financial support remains the biggest challenge to this project.” A spokesperson said, “To win this run against time it is very crucial to find major funds as quickly as possible.”
Tinder hopes to raise the $9 million needed to save the species. A spokesperson for the company said, “As a platform that makes millions of meaningful connections every day, raising awareness about Sudan the rhino and the importance of finding his match seemed like something we could support in a really impactful way. We’ve heard countless stories about Tinder babies, but this would be the first match to save a species.”