The Last Two Northern White Rhinos On Earth

Face to face with mass extinction.

There are only two northern white rhinos left on Earth. They live out their days in a strange existential twilight — a state of limbo that scientists call, with heartbreaking dryness, “functional extinction,” as two females cannot save their subspecies.

In our cover story this week, Sam Anderson spent time with Najin and Fatu, the last surviving pair of northern white rhinos. What will we lose when they die?


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