Creature Clip: Northern White Rhino
Nabire, an extremely rare northern white rhino, passed away just days after her photo shoot with Joel Sartore, leaving behind only three of her kind in the whole world. By capturing her image for his Photo Ark, Joel hopes to inspire people to take action and save the world's rhinos.
- One of five left in the world.
There's five left.
- Isn't it amazing?
People will kill these animals just for this, that's it.
- [Man With Mustache] It's unbelievable.
- Unbelievable isn't it?
Worth more than gold now, right?
- [Man With Mustache] Yes.
- For medicine.
- [Man With Mustache] Unfortunately yes.
- They say it's for medicine,
but it doesn't have any healing effect.
- It's made from a keratin, which is actually the substance
of our nails, so if you chew your nails, the consequences
would be the same if you swallow a rhino horn.
- Just for this.
This, that's it.
That's why the Northern White Rhino's gonna go extinct.
Right there, that's it.
Over 10 feet long and five feet high,
Nabire is one of the biggest animals
I've had to photograph.
I'm pretty sure she's bigger than my rental car.
This shoot's gonna require the biggest background I have,
and quite a bit of light wrangling.
I'm lucky to have my trusty, and very affordable,
photo assistant with me.
His name is Cole, he works for food, and he's my son.
Maybe if we just do that.
- How about that?
Okay, so we're gonna power this one up.
No matter where I work, I depend on naturalists,
scientists, and keepers to help me
get the images for the photo ark.
Jan was there when Nabire was born, 32 years ago.
So, he knows her favorite foods,
and how to get her in position.
(speaking foreign language)
- It's all about shaping the light,
and we've got some work to do here.
Eddie, can you move this ladder down this way a little bit.
- [Cole] Yes?
- It needs to come a whole lot more
towards the wall, towards me.
A whole lot more this way.
Okay, now, twist the light.
Twist the light so it's pointing more towards me,
towards the sound of my voice.
See where she is right now?
If we can get her head to lift up right there,
we'll get a picture.
(speaking foreign language)
Better, but the light on the right isn't edging her yet.
Keep it coming my way.
The whole light,
all the way down to the post.
Very nice, Cole, very nice.
Okay, just leave it there.
Now, that looks great.
I mean, we have a little spotlight of light
right on her head.
It's really nice, better than I thought it would be.
What a relief.
I'm really honored that I got to come here.
It's the best rhino shoot I've ever had,
and the worst rhino shoot I've ever had.
You know, it's just pathetically sad, isn't it?
And, she's pretty old, right?
I mean, her health isn't great.
- [Man With Mustache] She's actually in her last,
I don't know, weeks, months, maybe years.
- If enough people know about it,
I think they'd care and turn things around.
- This is my hope as well, because actually,
when you portrait her, I'm not sure
it will help the Northern White Rhinos.
They are down to five, but it might help
the other rhino species.
This could be something like a big alert for us,
that the others are in a row, and we have to
anything what's possible to save them.
- [Joel] Just eight days after I met her,
a cyst I Nabire ruptured, and the Northern White Rhino,
as a species, was down to four.
(Nabire breathes heavily)