Just One Of the Reasons We Love Our San Diego Zoo

March 20, 2018
San Diego Zoo

© James Kirkikis - Dreamstime


The World-Famous San Diego Zoo is truly a treasure.  We've all loved the Zoo for years as a favorite destination for the day with family, friends or visitors from out of town.

But what we sometimes might forget is the extent of our Zoo's widely respected conservation efforts.

If you're a Zoo member, you might have received an email this week.  An email that demonstrates our San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park's concern and tireless efforts to not only bring species closer to us, but to preserve and protect these animals worldwide.

You can read the letter below.

With a very heavy heart, we share with you that Sudan, a 45-year-old northern white rhino who lived at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, passed away earlier today from age-related health complications. Our most sincere and heartfelt sympathies are with Sudan's keepers in Kenya who have loved and cared for him. 

Sudan was an icon and the last male northern white rhino on Earth. Northern white rhinos are critically endangered and now only 2 remain on the planet—Sudan's daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu. Sudan's passing is heartbreaking and brings these gentle giants one step closer to extinction. 

As devastating as this may seem, there's still hope. San Diego Zoo Global is dedicated to bringing species back from the brink of extinction and to saving the northern white rhino before time runs out. As leaders in rhino conservation, we built the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. This one-of-a-kind sanctuary is dedicated to saving Sudan's species from disappearing forever. 

Six southern white rhinos call the Rhino Rescue Center home, and are the future of our cutting-edge surrogacy program to save their northern cousins. Sudan's species can only be saved through this innovative program, which uses science and 100 years of animal care expertise to save his species from extinction.

For more than 30 years, I've dedicated my life to saving the northern white rhino. And although today is is one of the most painful days for all of us who love rhinos, we can't lose hope. I promised our beloved Nola who lived at the Safari Park that I would carry on her legacy, and we must do all we can to save their species—it's their only hope. 

If you would like to become part of that legacy and help us save the northern white rhino, you can make a gift to the Rhino Rescue Center in Sudan's honor

On behalf of all of us at San Diego Zoo Global, thank you for your continued support as we join together to save these magnificent animals—we can't do it without you. 

With heartfelt gratitude,
Randy Rieches
San Diego Zoo Safari Park 


We encourage you to support our San Diego Zoo's conservation efforts! 

You'll find all you need to know here.