Last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia dies

About 80 Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia are all that remain of the species.


A male rhino named Harapan poses at the White Oak Conservation Center in Florida, where he lived briefly before being moved to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is now extinct in Malaysia. The country’s last rhino, Iman, died of cancer on Saturday, Malaysian officials reported. Tam, Malaysia’s last male rhino, died in May. The species is down to about 80 individuals, all living in Indonesia.

“Iman was given the very best care and attention since her capture in March 2014 right up to the moment she passed. No one could have done more,” said Christine Liew, Sabah State’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

Tam was discovered poking around an oil palm plantation in 2008. He was captured and transferred to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in the state of Sabah. Efforts to breed him with two female rhinos—Puntung, captured in 2011, and Iman, captured in 2014—proved unsuccessful.

Puntung was euthanized in 2017 due to cancer. Because of decades of habitat loss and poaching, fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos are thought to exist in the wild, most on the nearby island of Sumatra. The rest are scattered across Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo.

Sumatran rhinos are so few, in fact, experts now believe isolation is the...

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