World's last male northern white rhino
The last surviving male northern white rhino named 'Sudan' is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya June 18, 2017.REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

The world's last male northern white rhino, Sudan, died Monday, March 19, at Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The 45-year-old rhino's health had deteriorated in the past few months.

A vet team took the decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition deteriorated significantly in the last 24 hours, conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday.

The sub-species of rhinos is close to extinction as only two female northern white rhinos are alive.

Sudan was suffering from age-related infections on his back right leg. He was also suffering from some extensive skin wounds.

"His condition worsened significantly in the last 24 hours; he was unable to stand up and was suffering a great deal," Ol Pejeta said in a statement. "The veterinary team from the Dver Kralove Zoo, Ol Pejeta and Kenya Wildlife Service made the decision to euthanize him."

Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta, told CNN, "He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him."

Before being transported to Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sudan lived at Dver Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic. He lived there with the last two females of the same species -- 27-year old Najin and her daughter 17-year-old Fatu.

"We at Ol Pejeta are all saddened by Sudan's death. He was a great ambassador for his species and will be remembered for the work he did to raise awareness globally of the plight facing not only rhinos but also the many thousands of other species facing extinction as a result of the unsustainable human activity. One day, his demise will hopefully be seen as a seminal moment for conservationists worldwide," said Richard Vigne, CEO of Ol Pejeta.

Many animal lovers, wildlife activists, and celebs have taken to various social media platforms to express their grief.