Kansas City Zoo works to keep another rhinoceros subspecies from going extinct

Imara is a 13-year-old eastern black rhino at the Kansas City Zoo. There are only a few thousand like her left in the world. (KCTV5)

The world's last male northern white rhinoceros has died leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from being extinct.

Imara is a 13-year-old eastern black rhino at the Kansas City Zoo. There are only a few thousand like her left in the world.

"It makes me really sad, and it makes you think about the fact that all of our decisions have consequences," said Alicia Wedel, animal assistant manager at the Kansas City Zoo.

The news of Sudan, the last male white rhino passing away Monday, is hitting those whose life's work is dedicated to helping animals and doing their part for conservation particularly hard.

The Kansas City Zoo is lucky enough to have two eastern black rhinos. They are also critically endangered. Their horns, made of keratin, are a status symbol in other parts of the world and are nearing extinction solely because of poachers.

"What I always say is like a Lamborghini for us is like you've made it ... you make big bucks. For them, it's like they want to have a rhino horn sitting on their desk at work," Wedel said.

The Kansas City Zoo has successfully bred rhinos in the past, and it's not easy.

There is only about a four-hour window that a female can become pregnant once a month, and these particular rhinos are solitary to begin with. You won't find a 3,000 pound animal who craves attention like rhinos do.

"It makes you incredibly sad that if something doesn't change that, unfortunately, such a majestic animal is going to go extinct probably during my lifetime," Wedel said.

If you're wondering what you can do to help, visit the zoo. The money that you spend there goes toward conservation and helping animals.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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