Sumatran rhino is extinct in Malaysia as lone survivor dies

The WWF estimates that only around 80 Sumatran rhinoceros are left on the planet. (File/AFP)
Updated 24 November 2019

Sumatran rhino is extinct in Malaysia as lone survivor dies

  • The rhinoceros Iman had uterine tumors
  • She was 25 years old

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: The Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia, after the last of the species in the country succumbed to cancer.
The Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island said the rhino, named Iman, died of natural causes Saturday due to shock in her system. She had uterine tumors since her capture in March 2014.
Department director Augustine Tuuga said in a statement that Iman, who reportedly was 25 years old, was suffering significant pain from growing pressure of the tumors to her bladder but that her death came sooner than expected.
It came six months after the death of the country’s only male rhino in Sabah. Another female rhino also died in captivity in 2017 in the state. Efforts to breed them have been futile but Sabah authorities have harvested their cells for possible reproduction.
“Despite us knowing that this would happen sooner rather than later, we are so very saddened by this news,” said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew, who is also environment minister.
Liew said that Iman had escaped death several times over the past few years due to sudden massive blood loss, but that wildlife officials managed to nurse her back to health and obtained her egg cells for a possible collaboration with Indonesia to reproduce the critically endangered species through artificial insemination.
The Sumatran rhino, the smallest of five rhinoceros species, once roamed across Asia as far as India, but its numbers have shrunk drastically due to deforestation and poaching. The WWF conservation group estimates that there are only about 80 left, mostly living in the wild in Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature identifies the Sumatran as well as the Black and Javan rhinoceros as being critically endangered. Both African and Sumatran rhinoceros have two horns, while the others have a single horn.
Only about 24,500 rhinos survive in the wild with another 1,250 in captivity worldwide, the IUCN says. Of these, more than two-thirds are white rhinos.
Rhinos are killed for their horns, which consist of keratin similar to human hair and nails and are used in traditional medicines in parts of Asia.


Don’t abandon us, we don’t transmit coronavirus, say Cairo’s dogs and cats

Updated 27 May 2020

Don’t abandon us, we don’t transmit coronavirus, say Cairo’s dogs and cats

  • Doctors at the clinic decided to let the pets spread the message
  • Pets looked after at home are highly unlikely to spread any disease

CAIRO: The dogs and cats of a Cairo veterinary clinic have an important message, and they are taking it to the Internet.
Don’t abandon us. We don’t spread the coronavirus.
“We started this campaign after noticing that there were many people leaving dogs and cats outside our clinic,” explained veterinarian Corolos Majdi at the Animalia clinic in the Egyptian capital.
Pets looked after at home are highly unlikely to spread any disease, but dogs or cats abandoned on the street can be dangerous, he said.
Doctors at the clinic decided to let the pets spread the message. They began photographing dogs and cats wearing signs explaining that keeping them is safe. The photos are posted on social media sites on the Internet.
“I don’t transmit the coronavirus. Please don’t be frightened of me,” said Loola, a white French Poodle. Or rather that’s what was written on the sign she sported for her photoshoot.
Poosey, a 3-year-old long-haired cat, and Snowy, a white Griffon dog, took turns posing with a sign saying: “I love you. Please don’t throw me out in the street.”
“Please don’t worry, dogs don’t transmit the coronavirus,” said Snowy’s owner, a young girl named Julia Joseph. “God created these animals so we can care for them.”