On Tuesday, July 16, the statue of Sudan was revealed in the presence of the authors and the municipality and Safari Park Dvůr Králové representatives. The godfathers were the authors of the sculpture, Jan Brož and Pavel Vágner, and the mayor of the town, Jan Jarolím. A sandstone and metal sculpture was installed one day earlier on the central ring road islet. It is almost 180 centimetres tall, weighing ca. 5 tons and its creation took over three months.
"Sudan is perhaps the most famous animal that has ever lived in the zoo, so it is great that the municipality decided to recall him," says Jan Stejskal, head of international projects of the Safari Park Dvůr Králové, who spoke at the ceremony. "Sudan's trip from Africa to the zoo in Dvůr Králové and after more than 30 years back to Africa is a symbol of zoo’s whole mission - animals were first acquired from Africa, then we provided them with conditions under which they could reproduce and now we assist them with return to safe places in Africa,” adds Jan Stejskal.
Sudan lived an extraordinary life. In the 1970s, by dislocation to Dvur Kralove, he escaped destiny of his relatives who were hunted to extinction in the wild. Throughout his existence, he significantly contributed to survival of his species as he sired two females. During his final years, Sudan was sent back to Africa and stole the heart of many with his dignity and strength.
The last two living females of this rhino subspecies live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya, where they were sent together with Sudan from Dvur Kralove. The safari park is continuing in its efforts to rescue the Northern White Rhinos, and to that end has teamed up with IZW Berlin, the Avantea Institute in Cremona, Italy, and the Kenya Wildlife Service, to try and conduct the first-ever procedure to safely remove egg cells from remaining females, fertilize these with semen previously collected from northern white rhino males, and insert the resulting embryos into female southern white rhinos acting as surrogates.