Rhinoceros horns have long been objects of mythological beliefs. Some cultures prize them for their supposed magical or medicinal qualities. Others have used them as dagger handles or good luck charms. But new research at Ohio University removes some of the mystique by explaining how the horn gets its distinctive curve and sharply pointed tip.
A male rhinoceros recently rescued on the edge of Borneo's rain forest is expected to become the first participant of a Malaysian breeding program for his critically endangered ilk, a wildlife expert said Wednesday.
LAHAD DATU, June 30 (Bernama) -- The Sime Darby Foundation (SDF) and Sabah government will set up a sanctuary in the Tabin Forest Reserve for sumatran rhinos to protect the wildlife from extinction.
An initiative to transport lone Borneo rhinos to a secure central location - where they can interact with other rhinos - could mean hope for this extremely rare subspecies.
Tabin Wildlife Reserve is in need of such guardians, symbolic or otherwise. Located 48km from Lahat Datu in south-east Sabah and spanning 120,500ha of the Dent peninsula that forms the northern headland of Darvel Bay, it is one of the largest remaining protected wildlife reserves in the country; and crucially, the last major stronghold of the Bornean rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni).
CINCINNATI, OH (September 6, 2009) - “Emi”, the world’s most famous endangered Sumatran rhino, passed away yesterday morning at the age of 21 at her home at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The female Sumatran rhino lived at the Cincinnati Zoo for the past 14 years and produced three calves, Andalas (2001), Suci (2004) and Harapan (2007). In 2001, years of breakthrough research by scientists at the Zoo’s Lindner Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) resulted in the first captive birth of a Sumatran rhino since the 19th century.
The Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildife (CREW) which is based at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens is playing a central role in the mission to prevent the extinction of the Sumatran rhino.
Three of Malaysia’s endangered large mammal species are experiencing contrasting futures.
I had known for a week that I would be fortunate enough to meet Tam. I'd heard stories of his gentle demeanor, discussed his current situation with experts, and read everything I could find about this surprising individual. But still, walking up to the pen where Tam stood contentedly pulling leaves from the hands of a local ranger, hearing him snort and whistle, watching as he rattled the bars with his blunted horn, I felt like I was walking into a place I wasn't meant to be. As though I was treading on his, Tam's space: entering into a cool deep forest where mud wallows and shadows still linger. This was Tam's world, or at least it should be.
The Rhino Protection Unit based in Tabin Wildlife Reserve performs a number of vital activities that include monitoring the movement and behaviour of rhinos within the area, and keeping a vigilant look out for poachers and others that would seek to harm them.
Together with the Javan Rhino, the Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is the most critically endangered of the rhino species. This rhino species may represent the rainforest relic of a rhino which was once adapted to the open woodlands of the Pleistocene ice ages when sea levels were much lower than now, and Borneo and Sumatra were joined to mainland Asia via savannahs now under the South China Sea.
Kota Kinabalu, 23rd August, 2008: The Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) successfully completed a two week long rescue operation of a single male from the critically endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni) subspecies.
March 17 2009 saw LEAP helping to organise another groundbreaking conservation fundraising event with its partner organisation, BORA.
KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife experts here remain hopeful about the future of the highly endangered Sumatran rhino following a rare picture of a 20-year-old female that is believed to be pregnant. The picture of the female rhino was captured by remote camera trap devices set up jointly by the Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF-Malaysia. The picture was considered rare as there were estimated to be less than 30 rhinos left on the entire island of Borneo.
The current number of living individuals of the Bornean subspecies of the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni; also known as the Bornean rhino) is possibly around forty or less. Sabah now offers the only likely prospect for saving this sub-species, and the best prospect for saving the species in Malaysia.
The Sumatran rhinoceros is Malaysia’s rarest and most endangered species. Sabah now has the last known remaining small populations of this species in Malaysia, at Danum Valley and Tabin Wildlife Reserve, both in Lahad Datu District. What needs to be done has already been determined by government. The first need is to prevent the loss by poaching or by illegal traps of Sabah’s remaining wild rhinos.
The fine article entitled Sex and the single rhinoceros by Henry Nicholls (Nature, Volume 485:566-569, 31 May 2012) provides just the sort of debate that is needed on the pros and cons of trying to save species that are on the brink of extinction. And too much of the debate that has occurred was printed (not spoken) in academic journals, far from and never seen by those working on the ground.
Failure to act quickly on evidence of rapid population decline has led to the first mammal extinction in Australia in the last 50 years, the Christmas Island Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi). The fate of another iconic species, the migratory Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster), monitored intensively for over 20 years, hangs in the balance.
Danum Valley, 21 March 2014: A rare Sumatran rhino was successfully translocated late afternoon on Friday 21 from a very remote area in Danum Valley, to join a male (Tam) and a female (Puntong) rhinos at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary (BRS) Facilities in Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
KOTA KINABALU, 22 March 2014: Sabah wildlife researchers are hopeful that three Sumatran rhinoceros now in captivity at a reserve will help save the species from extinction. Sabah Wildlife Department director Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu said they were examining the latest captive, a female Sumatran rhino recently translocated to the reserve to join two other creatures from the critically endangered species.
CINCINNATI (March 31, 2014) - “Suci”, one of the world’s rare endangered Sumatran rhinos, passed away late on Sunday, March 30. Surrounded by the keepers and veterinary staff who cared for her daily, she died at her home at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
Tabin Wildlife Reserve: The successful capture of a female Sumatran rhino named Iman from a remote part of Danum Valley, and her transfer to Tabin Wildlife Reserve on 21 March, has revealed once and for all that her species is on the very edge of extinction in Malaysia.
LAHAD DATU, SABAH 14 MAY 2014 – The critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros is still fighting for survival and in the twilight of its existence. However, all is not lost yet, thanks to the ongoing efforts by passionate and dedicated scientists, veterinarians, conservationists and funders alike.
Between 1984 and 1995, a total of 22 Sumatran rhinos were captured in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah for a captive breeding project. Except for one which was already pregnant when captured, none bred while in captivity, and all have since died.
"One percent of the world's population," veterinarian Zulfi Arsan says as he nods towards Bina, a 714-kilogram (1,574-pound), 30-year-old female Sumatran rhinoceros leisurely crunching branches whole.
Leading scientists and experts in the field of rhino conservation state in a new paper that it is safe to consider the Sumatran rhinoceros extinct in the wild in Malaysia. The survival of the Sumatran rhino now depends on the 100 or fewer remaining individuals in the wild in Indonesia and the nine rhinos in captivity.
Sumatran rhinos are indeed likely to become extinct ... but stopping poaching without boosting birth rate will not save the species -- Borneo Rhino Alliance
Media Release – 7 April 2016: An NGO in Malaysian Borneo that has been rescuing critically endangered Sumatran rhinos since 2008 under a program to prevent the species’ extinction says that they stand ready to play a new role with Indonesia.
This article which traces the decline of the Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia in the 20th century and considers the challenges of saving this highly endangered species was published in the 2013 Journal of Indonesian Natural History Vol 1 No 2. It is jointly authored by Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Junaidi Payne and Zainal Zahari Zainuddin.
This Short Communication appeared in Oryx 2015. It is jointly authored by Rasmus Gren Havmoller, Junaidi Payne, Widodo Ramono, Susie Ellis, K. Yoganand, Barney Long, Eric Dinerstein, A. Christy Williams, Rudi H. Putra, Jamal Gawi, Bibhab Kumar Talukdar and Neil Burgess.
When humans are in the middle of a particular era, whatever we see and think and talk about seems normal, rational and even scientific. So it is with the prevailing human view of wildlife conservation.
Jakarta. The World Wildlife Fund has slammed conservation efforts to save Javan and Sumatran rhinoceros from extinction as "insufficient" in a statement released Thursday (22/09/2016).
1 Mar 2015, Kota Kinabalu: The Sumatran rhino once browsed the forests in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. By the mid-20th century, its range and population has drastically shrunk due to forest habitat loss and killing for its horn. The demand for rhino horn stems from the common yet misguided belief that it harbours medicinal properties.
The Star Online: 10 August 2016 KOTA KINABALU: Wildlife researchers are hoping to have more success in future captive breeding of the highly-endangered Sumatran rhino after successfully fully sequencing the genome of the animal.
The clock is ticking for the critically endangered Sumatran rhinos. There are only three rhinos left in Malaysia and conservationists are working tirelessly to save these animals from extinction.
In a desperate effort to stave off the extinction of Bornean and northern white rhinos, conservation groups in Malaysia and Kenya are appealing to the public to fund high-tech assisted reproduction efforts. 28 November 2016 / Jeremy Hance
NST Online 18 Dec 2016 by Olivia Mivil: ALL the remaining Sumatran rhinos in Malaysia and Indonesia, which number less than 100, should be managed as a single population to facilitate the reproduction of the critically-endangered species.
As part of efforts to raise funds for BORA, in December 2016 students from the International School of Kuala Lumpur's (ISKL) MS Art Department created an installation of ceramic rhinos.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has lost Puntung, the Sumatran Rhino who touched the hearts of many.
Puntung was captured in 2011 and kept at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu with one other female and a male Sumatran rhino. — Picture via Borneo Rhino Sanctuary
Wildlife experts here bade a sad farewell to Puntung, one of Malaysia’s three remaining Sumatra rhinos, who was put down after a brief battle against cancer.
It was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make, but euthanasia had become the only defensible option. Chemotherapy, radiation treatment and excision surgery might seem possible. But for us, her welfare was the most critical element. Any of those treatments would bring further distress to Puntung because they would cause her further pain and, at best, give her a few more months of life.
Back in April, a team of veterinary specialists flew to Malaysia to perform urgent dental surgery on Puntung, one of the country’s last three Sumatran rhinos. The procedure to correct Puntung’s life-threatening abscess seemed to be a success: Within hours of the operation, the rhino was chomping on tasty foliage. The effort to save her captured attention across the globe.
Malaysia’s hopes for preventing the extinction of the Sumatran rhino through in vitro production of embryos narrowed further when in vitro specialist Profesor Arief Boediono determined that the ovaries of Puntung, who was put to sleep on Sunday, contained no oocytes. Malaysia now has to rely on the last female Sumatran rhino, Iman, to be the supplier of eggs.
Researchers and conservationists are adamant that the only way to save the Sumatran rhinoceros is a unified captive breeding program that brings scientists, NGOs and governments together.
This Op-Ed by Jeremy Hance appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 17 March 2018.
The little-known and smallest member of the rhinoceros family, the Sumatran rhinoceros, is critically endangered. Today between 30 and 100 are isolated on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Southeast Asia. In a new study, researchers urge conservationists to translocate the two island groups--representing two subspecies of the Sumatran rhino--and to create a cell bank to preserve the genetic diversity uncovered by this work.
SAN DIEGO - Victoria, a southern white rhino at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, is pregnant. It’s an event of vital importance for a program to bring back her nearly extinct kin, the northern white rhino.
DNA of northern white rhino — of which only two remain — mixed with that of close subspecies in a bid towards growing population using surrogates.
The seemingly "disastrous" story of the world's most endangered mammal - the northern white rhino - could be rewritten by IVF, scientists claim.
The untold story of two days in Singapore that launched a wildly ambitious, and calamitous, captive breeding program.
No one knows when humans first encountered the Sumatran rhinoceros, the smallest, hairiest, most loquacious and arguably strangest of all living rhinos. But that initial face-to-face probably occurred some 60,000 or 70,000 years ago as humans first pushed their way across the Asian continent and reached what are today the forests of northeast India.
As we walk out into the zoo enclosure, Cossatot comes over to greet me. Cossatot is a capybara, the size of a very big dog; his species is the world’s largest rodent. He quickly determines from smelling my hands that I’ve neglected to bring him a treat. Looking a bit put out, he goes back to lounging in his one-man kingdom. But where Cossatot reigns was once the domain of an even larger, far more endangered animal. Little does Cossatot know, but his kingdom has made history. I’m visiting the old Sumatran rhino enclosures of Cincinnati Zoo with Terri Roth, head of the zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), and Paul Reinhart, leader of the team that cared daily for the rhinos.
There is a clip from the documentary Torgamba: the Last Rhino that I watch over and over. It shows Torgamba, the male Sumatran rhino who spent much of his life in the U.K. before being sent back to Indonesia, returning to his native country. Tom Foose and Nico van Strien are waiting for him. Neither of them are comfortable-looking TV presenters, but these are scientists, not celebrities.
JAKARTA — Hopes for a long-awaited collaboration between Indonesia and Malaysia to breed the near-extinct Sumatran rhino are fading fast, as the last of the species languish amid government inaction.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s only hope to save its critically endangered Sumatran Rhinos is to have the planned in vitro fertilization (IVF) programme to proceed as soon as possible, or start finding alternative methods.
As lead veterinarian of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (srs) on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, he watched as the rhino named Ratu gave birth to her second calf. The calf, who later would be named Delilah, was coming out wrong—hind feet first. This meant the umbilical cord could strangle her. Arsan was ready to try to help.
Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said serious concerns were growing over the health of the rhino named Tam, whose appetite and alertness had declined abruptly since late April this year.
KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia's last remaining male Sumatran rhinoceros, affectionately called Tam, has died today.
The last male Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia has died of old age, dashing efforts to save the critically endangered species in the country.
Malaysia’s last male Sumatran rhinoceros, Tam, has died—a serious blow for the critically endangered species, which is already extinct in the country.
Some rhinos in human care don’t reproduce well, which complicates efforts to sustain these important insurance populations. Scientists have worked for years to develop reliable means of artificial reproduction, with limited success.
JAKARTA Aug 10 2019: The governments of Indonesia and Sabah-Malaysia have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Conservation of the Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in Indonesia next month (September).
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 (Bernama) -- A collaboration between Malaysia and Indonesia on the conservation of the Sumatran Rhinoceros is set to go forward as early as next month.
KOTA KINABALU: In vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment on an egg retrieved from Iman – the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia – failed earlier this month.
This Letter to the Editor appears in Pachyderm: Journal of the African Elephant, African Rhino and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups (Issue 60): June 2018-June 2019.
Daily Express 27 Nov 2019 KOTA KINABALU: Former WWF Sabah Director Datuk John Payne (pic) said there were many missed opportunities to save the Sumatran rhino. Sabah’s last known Sumatran rhino, Iman, died last Saturday and questions were raised as to how the beast that managed to survive for millions of years in Sabah’s primeval forests was allowed to become extinct.“In 1980 IUCN experts discouraged Sabah from capture of rhino because it was considered too risky,” Payne said.
By Avila Geraldine NST Online, November 24, 2019 KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia has done its level best to save the Sumatran rhinoceros since the 1980s, including mooting breeding programmes and pursuing conservation collaborations with key parties – all to no avail.
KOTA KINABALU: A single egg cell – that is all that scientists managed to harvest from Malaysia's last living female Sumatran rhino – Iman. The egg cell (oocyte) was harvested at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu on Monday (Sept 30).
The most fundamental biological requirement of all animals is food and water. In the context of Malaysia and Indonesia, we could imagine under a different array of historical and current human attitudes that Sumatran rhinos could live in oil palm plantations, feeding on woody weeds, with wild cattle feeding on the grasses, together avoiding the need for herbicides.
Attempts to breed these three rhinos naturally have proven unsuccessful. Tam’s sperm quality is not ideal. Although Puntung and Iman are still producing eggs, they both have reproductive pathologies that have rendered them unable to bear a foetus.
The Sumatran Rhino is the smallest of all rhino species. They have been around for millions of years, but their time might be coming to an end. Today, there are less than 100 of these critically endangered rhinos left