The last female Sumatran rhino dies in Malaysia — leaving less than 80 male rhinos on the brink of extinction

Credits: Borneo Rhino Alliance

  • Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino, Iman, died at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
  • There are less than 80 Sumatran rhino left in the world.
  • Wildlife conservationists have held hope to breed Iman and reproduce the critically endangered species through artificial insemination.

The last female Sumatran rhino, who was about 25 years old, died at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Tabin Wildlife Reserve. There are less than 80 of these rhinos which are on the brink of extinction.

According to the Sabah Wildlife Department said, rhino named Iman, was suffering from cancer and was in pain because of increasing pressure of the tumour to her bladder. She died of natural causes.

The Sumatran rhino, popularly known as Asian rhino with two horns, is the most endangered of all rhinos. Most of them are living in Indonesia under heavy protection.

The species witnessed a rapid decline because of deforestation and poaching. More than 70% of the population have depleted in the last two decades. Rhinos are hunted for their horns used in traditional medicines in many parts of Asia.

"We are saddened by today's news. On behalf of the International Rhino Foundation, we offer condolences to the Government of Sabah and our colleagues at the Borneo Rhino Alliance team on their loss," said Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation in a statement.

Iman’s death comes six months after the death of Sabah — the only such male rhino in Malaysia. Wildlife conservationists hoped to breed Iman and reproduce the critically endangered species through artificial insemination.
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