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S36 Ep11

The Last Rhino

Premiere: 2/14/2018 | 00:00:35 | Closed Captioning Icon

Follow the story of Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhinoceros. His journey as the last of his kind is given a glimmer of hope from scientists and animal experts who turn to technology to save the Northern White Rhino before it dies out forever.

About the Episode

Nature: The Last Rhino introduces viewers to Sudan, the very last male Northern White Rhinoceros. His harrowing journey is told through the international cast of characters who have been involved in Sudan’s life, from when he was snatched as a calf from his mother’s side in war-torn Central Africa, to his captivity as a prized exhibit in a cold, concrete zoo behind the Iron Curtain while poaching devastated his kind to extinction back home. Now 43 years old and half-blind, Sudan is living out his days under the 24-hour watch of an armed guard, on a protective sanctuary in Kenya. Meanwhile, a team of scientists and experts led by Professor Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research turn to technology in a race against time to save this majestic rhino subspecies whose origins date back at least five million years. One hour.

Noteworthy Facts:

  • Sudan was first captured in February 1975 from a South Sudan game reserve and sent 7,000 miles to a remote zoo in the former Czechoslovakia. He is one of only three Northern White Rhinos left on the planet, and the only remaining male.
  • Sudan now lives in Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya with the world’s only two female Northern White Rhinos. He’s achieved celebrity status around the world with those who have taken up the cause of saving these magnificent creatures.
  • The White Rhinoceros, found only in Africa, has two genetically distinct subspecies – the Northern White Rhino and the Southern White Rhino. The White Rhino is the largest land mammal after the elephant and the only rhino to have a square, wide upper lip, which helps it graze.
  • Ceratotherium simum cottoni, or the Northern White Rhino, once roamed widely across the grasslands and savannas of Africa, but is now completely extinct in the wild due to extreme poaching.
  • The Southern White Rhino, or Ceratotherium simum simum, has successfully been brought back from the brink of extinction through careful protection and management. They are now classified as near endangered.

Buzzworthy Moments:

  • A troop of security officers, natives of the Bushland, protect the reservation from potential poachers. “To protect these animals, you have to risk your life,” says one of the officers. They have had to stop several poaching attempts this year.
  • Since the three living Northern White Rhinos are unable to produce more children the natural way, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the only viable solution. To test this process, a group of scientists sedate Carla, a Southern White Rhinoceros, to extract her eggs. The extraction is very difficult and precise, allowing no room for error.
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PRODUCTION CREDITS

THE LAST RHINO

NARRATOR
TOM HARGES

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
BRENDAN EASTON

COMPOSER
JUSTIN NICHOLLS

GRAPHICS
BURRELL DURRANT HIFLE

COLORIST
JACK JONES

ONLINE EDITOR
ANDRES DEL CAÑO

DUBBING MIXER
DAN WEINBERG

EDIT ASSISTANT
ALAN NEAL

ARCHIVE RESEARCHERS
CARMEN LOCKE
LAWRENCE BREEN

RESEARCHER
MARY MELVILLE

CZECH TRANSLATOR AND RESEARCHER
ROB CAMERON

ARCHIVE
AGB FILMS
ALAN ROOT
AP ARCHIVE
CZECH TELEVISION
DVUR KRALOVE ZOO
PETER & YVONNE MOLLOY
KRATKY FILM
KES HILLMAN-SMITH
MICHAEL HAVAS
KIT THACKERAY
LEMURIA TV
WWF
PETER LITCHFIELD
ESPEN RASMUSSEN/PANOS PICTURES
JIRI VAHALA
TELEVIZE NOE (TELEPACE S.R.O)
BEYOND VISION

PRODUCTION COORDINATORS
WENDY CLARKE
SARAH VICKERS

PRODUCTION MANAGERS
HELENA BERGLUND
PAULINE GATES

UNIT MANAGER
KATE GORST

SPECIAL THANKS
AFRICAN PARKS
GARAMBA NATIONAL PARK
ICCN

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
SACHA MIRZOEFF
SIMON FORD

PRODUCER
LIZ KEMPTON

FILM EDITOR
JAMES GOLD

DIRECTED BY
ROWAN DEACON

SERIES EDITOR
ROGER WEBB

FOR NATURE

SERIES EDITOR
JANET HESS

SENIOR PRODUCER
LAURA METZGER LYNCH

COORDINATING PRODUCER
JAYNE JUN

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
JAMES BURKE

LEGAL COUNSEL
BLANCHE ROBERTSON

DIGITAL PRODUCER
ERIC R. OLSON

SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR
WHITNEY MCGOWAN

BUDGET CONTROLLER
JAYNE LISI

ONLINE EDITOR
CHRIS GUIDO

RE-RECORDING MIXER
ED CAMPBELL

ORIGINAL FUNDING PROVIDED IN PART BY
THE ARNHOLD FAMILY IN MEMORY OF CLARISSE ARNHOLD
THE HALMI FAMILY IN MEMORY OF ROBERT HALMI, SR.
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III
KATE W. CASSIDY FOUNDATION
LILLIAN GOLDMAN CHARITABLE TRUST
FILOMEN M. D’AGOSTINO FOUNDATION
ROSALIND P. WALTER
SANDRA ATLAS BASS
SUSAN R. MALLOY, JENNIFER M. COMBS, TIMON J. MALLOY AND THE SUN HILL FOUNDATION
THE ARLENE AND MILTON D. BERKMAN PHILANTHROPIC FUND
CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING

SERIES PRODUCER
BILL MURPHY

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
FRED KAUFMAN

A CO-PRODUCTION OF THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC AND BBC STUDIOS IN ASSOCIATION WITH WNET

© 2018 BBC
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

TRANSCRIPT

[Narrator] On a Kenyan reserve, armed guards protect Sudan, the last male Northern white rhino on the planet.

Celebrity doesn't faze this rhino, or his devoted caregiver.

- You take great care of him, just like elderly people.

[Narrator] As the curious visit, a dramatic rescue plan unfolds to save Sudan's kind.

- We're racing against time.

- We're trying to make sure these animals continue to exist.

(somber music)

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