Sanya Jain, NDTV | October 18, 2019
Pictures shared by Ol Pejeta Conservancy show that cricketer Rohit Sharma and his wife Ritika met Sudan, the world’s last male northern white rhino, back in 2015. Sudan died at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya in 2018, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world.
On Thursday, Ol Pejeta Conservancy revealed in an Instagram post that Mumbai Indians cricket team captain Rohit Sharma and wife Ritika Sajdeh had visited the conservancy four years ago to meet Sudan and made a “significant donation” to their rhino conservation programme.
They said that thanks to Rohit’s huge following in India and the world, Sudan’s story reached many, adding that the 32-year-old cricketer is actively associated with animal protection.
“Rohit and his wife Ritika came to Ol Pejeta back in 2015 to meet Sudan, the last male northern white rhino in the world,” wrote Ol Pejeta Conservancy on Instagram, sharing three pictures from the visit. Two of these pics show Rohit posing with the rhinoceros, while the third shows him and Ritika smiling for the camera.
The pics were re-posted by Ritika Sajdeh on Instagram this morning:
Her post has collected over 50,000 ‘likes’ in a matter of hours. “The best thing on internet today,” wrote one person in the comments section. “Awesome,” said another.
Sudan, the world’s last surviving male white rhino, died on March 19, 2018, at the age of 45. Sudan had previously lived at the Dver Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic before being transported to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in 2009. The conservancy made the decision to euthanise him due to the rapid deterioration in his condition.
Rohit Sharma had shared an Instagram post for Sudan at the time, writing: “Rest in peace Sudan, you deserved so much better.”
In September this year, Rohit also joined World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) India and Animal Planet in an attempt to protect the greater one-horned rhinoceros or the Indian rhino.
“It is our duty as co-inhabitants of this planet to try and protect other species that walk this planet, alongside us. The future is in our hands and we should do whatever we can to ensure that our children are able to enjoy the rich bio-diversity this world has to offer,” Rohit Sharma said.