According to the conservation group, a survey of the animal’s natural habitat has yielded no living specimens, leading to the assessment that the last members of the subspecies had died.
In its report, the IUCN blamed “a lack of political support and willpower for conservation efforts” as well as commercial poaching for the Western Black Rhino’s extinction.
It warned that two other rhino subspecies, the Northern White Rhino and the Javan Rhino, were either perilously close to disappearing, or already extinct as well.
A large scale effort by the WWF to save the remaining Black Rhinos is presently underway. Current estimates suggest that a mere 4,240 Black Rhinos remain in the wild.
Watch a black rhino being transported by helicopter to a new range in South Africa’s Limpopo province below: