The Sumatran rhinoceros has become extinct in Malaysia, zoologists have announced.
The last of the species in the country succumbed to cancer in the state of Sabah on the island of Borneo, it was revealed.
The rhino, named Iman, had suffered from uterine tumours since her capture in March 2014. “Iman’s death came rather sooner than we had expected, but we knew that she was starting to suffer significant pain,” said Augustine Tuuga, the director of the Sabah wildlife department.
“Despite us knowing that this would happen sooner rather than later, we are so very saddened by this news,” added Christina Liew, Sabah environment minister.
Iman escaped death several times over the past few years due to sudden massive blood loss – but on each occasion wildlife officials managed to nurse her back to health. They also obtained her egg cells for a possible collaboration with other scientists to reproduce the critically endangered species through artificial insemination programmes.
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Robin McKie