Health Editor’s Note: Sumatran rhinos are extinct in Malaysia, but are not totally extinct, it appears. There are 80 or so Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia’s Sumatran Island and some in Indonesian Borneo. We can hope that these survive and do so in a big way. To have a species go extinct is human’s fault. For this wonderful little rhino, humans have been the cause of its declining numbers through poaching and habitat loss. We have to do better……Carol
Sumatran Rhinos Are Now Extinct in Malaysia
by Brigit Katz/Smithsonian.com
An ailing Sumatran rhino named Iman has died, marking the extinction of the critically endangered species in Malaysia.
The Associated Press reports that Iman, believed to be 25 years old, died of natural causes on Saturday “due to shock in her system.” She had been taken into captivity and transported to the Borneo Rhino Alliance in 2014, and experts soon discovered that she was suffering from uterine tumors. Augustine Tuuga, director of the Wildlife Department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo, said in a statement that the growing tumors had started to put pressure on Iman’s bladder, causing her pain. Still, Tuuga noted, the rhino’s death had come earlier than expected.
“You were … the sweetest soul, who brought so much joy and hope to all of us,” the Borneo Rhino Alliance wrote in a Facebook post. “We are in so much pain right now, but we are thankful that you are no longer in pain.”
Iman was the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia. The only male Sumatran rhino in the country, Tam, died in May.
Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of all rhino species—and the hairiest, “with fringed ears and reddish-brown skin,” notes the International Rhino Foundation.