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Goodbye buddy: Warden pens emotional farewell message to Sudan

James Mwenda, a game warden at the Ol Pejeta conservancy, has penned down an emotional farewell message to Sudan – the last male northern white rhino.

Forty five year-old Sudan died on Tuesday through euthanasia after his health deteriorated.

In his farewell message, Mr Mwenda revealed how he became close to Sudan over the years at the conservancy.

He begins by reminiscing their time together while Sudan was still alive.

“Good bye Sudan, I don’t need to say it here that I loved you. You know it well from all the talks and the moments we had together, being with you for the last few years completely changed me, and as you taught me daily I continued to teach and inspire my fellow humans to be conscious and sensitive of our environment. I promised to be your voice (I am not sure whether I duly and diligently fulfilled that) but I did my best,” he wrote.

He goes on to appreciate being Sudan’s caretaker and how he gave him all his best.


“When I look back, in my years of caretaking you, my sadness and the essence of losing you is overcome by a contentment that I gave you all the best. Sudan I don’t regret anything as deep within my heart I gave you everything.”

“What I regret most, is whether my fellow humanity has learned from your existence. I tried as much to help them hear you through my thoughts and the lessons I learned through our personal day to day life, though still my voice has been small, I have testimonies that you have left an imprint in the hearts of many especially those I interacted with.”

Mwenda went on to outline the importance of Sudan’s existence and how much humans need to teach the future generation on the importance of conserving the environment.

“If I was powerful in the face of earth and conservation world 19/04/18 would be “Sudan, The Legend Day” a day when parents should take their kids out and teach them how and why we need to embrace the environment. A day where a pic of Sudan could be presented in classroom and have the kids draw Him, so that they are conscious of extinction and how Sudan’s existence meant. A day what we could ask those we know what they knew about the environment.”

He adds: “I never expected to hear a thank you from you, no rewards, no clapping for congratulations, no job well done words, and no praise for it. Sometimes the commitment, sacrifice and love of an animal can only be known by the animal, God and the caretaker only. Catalyzed by the bond they share and the affection.”

He finishes off paying tribute to other rhinos who have also died.

“All I can ask you is your blessing buddy, that blessing means everything to me, old as you were I celebrate your live well lived. On the other side of life. Greet Lola, Saut, Nasima, Nabire and the rest of the rhinos, tell them that some humans still upholds the madness that rhino horn is a cure. But there are others that still are fighting for your future. The big question is what does Sudan’s existence and His death mean to you? Let us all purpose to learn. I will try my best to honor all that we talked about and live for what you have taught me,” he wrote.

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