This tragic case of humans vs. the natural world involves the critically endangered Northern White Rhino, of which two remain, in the entire world. You read that right. One, two. And since they are both females, the species is set to go extinct in the next few years. For the time being, however, these two beautiful females are being guarded around the clock in Kenya.
Photojournalist Justin Mott has a powerful series that shows the love that the wildlife guards have for their rhinos friends. We see these gentle giants being touched and leaned upon, and sense the tragedy in their eyes.
Fatu and Najin are the names of the final two females, and they’re being kept at the Ol Peteja Conservancy. The last male, Sudan, died a few years back, and the species are notoriously difficult to breed, meaning there’s no hope to keep the Northern White Rhino alive.
My Modern Met has an in-depth interview with Mott, about his photography, and the power of capturing these amazing animals before they’re gone for good. We’re left pretty much speechless in cases like this. Please share articles like this to help spread awareness of just how fragile our natural world is, and how much it needs our help and protection.
Via My Modern Met:
How long did you spend with the rhinos and caretakers, and what surprised you most about their bond?
I was there for one week. I started my days just before sunrise and would hang around until into the evening as the rhinos went to sleep. I spent most of my time with the caretakers, but I also went on patrol with the armed guards into the bush.
For the caretakers, I was so impressed with their love for the rhinos and how they can just walk right up to them and scratch them behind the ears. Peter, one of the caretakers, told me as he pet Fatu behind her ear and then her hind leg, “it calms her.”