Malaysia’s last surviving male Sumatran rhino has died
The Sumatran rhino, the smallest species of rhinoceros, was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysiain 2015. Iman, a female captured in 2014, is now the only surviving member of the subspecies left in the country.
Since 2011, Malaysia has tried to breed the species in captivity through in vitro fertilization, but without success. Tam’s genetic material has been preserved for future attempts to reproduce Sumatran rhinos.
About Sumatran rhino:
- Also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros, it is the smallest species of rhinoceros.
- IUCN status: Critically Endangered
- According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), it once inhabited rainforests, swamps, and cloud forests in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. In historical times, they lived in southwest China, particularly in Sichuan.
- There are now only five substantial populations in the wild: four in Sumatra and one in Borneo.
- Wildlife experts estimate that only about 30 to 80 Sumatran rhinos remain in the world, mostly on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on the Indonesian side of Borneo.