The last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, Iman, died due to cancer.
Last Sumatran Rhino died in Malaysia, goes extinct in the countryConfirmed on Sunday, the last Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia gave up its last breath. Thus, the population of Sumatran rhino in Malaysia has reached its extinction and proved Malaysia’s effort futile
Bernama stated that the 25-year-old female rhino, named Iman, was confirmed dead at 5.35 p.m. local time in Sabah, Borneo, Saturday. Iman died due to cancer. The Director of Sabah Wildlife Department, Augustine Tuuga, clarified further that Iman succumbed to the excruciating pain from tumor and cancer.
Sabah State Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, Christine Liew, could not believe that Iman died due to an unexpected cause. Liew said that Iman had been taken care of very carefully since her capture in 2014.
Meanwhile, the last male rhino in Malaysia, Tam, died in May 2019, making it impossible for the Sumatran rhino in Malaysia to enlarge its population. Tam once also resided in the same sanctuary with Iman.
Scientists in Malaysia had collected Iman’s egg cells for the reproduction of the endangered species through artificial insemination programs.
Once, Sumatran rhinos can be seen roaming throughout ASEAN. But now, it is critically endangered with less than 100 believed to exist. Like its name, 80 Sumatran rhinoceros can be found roaming on the island of Sumatra.
Executive Director of Borneo Rhino Alliance, John Payne, blamed climate and vegetation change, habitat loss or deforestation, and illegal poaching for the extinction of the Sumatran rhino. Poachers take rhino’s horn for its medicinal property and sell it on the black market.