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Natural World

  • Season 36
  • 8 episodes
  • Nature

Episode 6: Sudan: The Last of the Rhinos: Natural World


The remarkable story of Sudan, the very last male northern white rhino on the planet. Snatched from his mother's side in Central Africa, Sudan became a prized exhibit in a zoo while the rest of his kind were poached to near-extinction. This programme focuses on the desperate battle to bring his sub-species back from the brink of extinction, told through the characters who have been involved in his life.


A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Over the end credits of this enthralling film, we hear the old Flanders and Swann song where they sing, “Oh pity the poor old Rhino with the bodger on the bonce.” And pity is certainly what you feel for the very last male northern white rhino, Sudan, who now lives in aged comfort at a conservancy in Kenya, while the rest of his species – all but two females – have been wiped out.

Like any rhino, Sudan is a sort of trundling colossus, thuggish-looking and endearing at the same time. As a youngster he was captured and taken to Czechoslovakia, where he lived for 30 years in a zoo.

The programme charts the extraordinary story of how animals were trapped in the 1970s for safari parks (the footage is brutally bizarre), and how our attitudes to wild animals and the science around them have changed – but just too late. It’s a monumentally sad story, one you keep hoping will end differently.

How to watch

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There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.





DirectorRowan Deacon
Executive producerSacha Mirzoeff
ProducerLiz Kempton
Series editorRoger Webb

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