One of the world's six remaining northern white rhinos has just died

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Monday 15 December 2014 15:30

One of the world's six remaining northern white rhinoceroses has just died, leaving one of the planet's most endangered a step closer to extinction.

The death of Angalifu at San Diego zoo leaves just five of the rare species left and only one male - severely damaging hopes of a growth in population.

Angalifu’s death is a tremendous loss to all of us. Not only because he was well beloved here at the park but also because his death brings this wonderful species one step closer to extinction.

  • San Diego safari park curator Randy Rieches

The rhino's death, at 44-years-old, comes less than two months after another of the species was found dead by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.

Attempts to mate Angalifu with a female rhino at San Diego had failed and conservationists at the aforementioned reserve in Kenya admit they have also failed to mate the remaining male they have there with one of its two females.

According to the Associated Press, the decline of the population has been mainly due to poaching - northern white rhino horn is believed to be an aphrodisiac and is also used for dagger handles.

More: There are now only six northern white rhinos left in the world