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Rare Sumatran Rhino Dies of Infection Weeks After Discovery

rare Sumatran rhino

A rare Sumatran rhino recently died in Indonesia weeks after it was discovered.

The rare Sumatran rhino, a species once thought to be extinct, was found and thought to be a huge success for conservationists. However, less than a month later the rhino died of an infection in her leg.

According to the conservation director of the World Wildlife Fund-Indonesia, Arnold Sitompul, the infection was “severe” and may have been “caused by snares from an earlier poaching event.”

“This demonstrates the threats faced by the Sumatran rhino and underscores why we need to continue our efforts with the strong support of the government and other experts to have the remaining population of Sumatran rhinos in the area.” Sitompul said.

rare Sumatran rhino
Washington Post

Last year the Malaysian part of Borneo declared the smallest of the rhino species extinct in the wild which has been caused by poaching and destruction of habitat because of mining and agricultural operations in the region.

Though thought to be extinct in Kalimantan, trail cameras captured the elusive animal in 2013. It was predicted that only 15 were left in the area and only 85 more alive in Sumatra.

Finally, for the first time in 40 years a rhino was capture in a pit trap on March 12. It was announced by the World Wildlife Federation as a “major milestone for rhino conservation in Indonesia.”

The female rhinoceros was to be moved 90 miles via helicopter to become the first rhino in only the second Sumtran Rhino Sanctuary.

Unfortunately, The International Rhino Foundation declared that the female rhino has passed away and that it was possible that the death could have been prevented if instead it had been taken to the already well-established rhino sanctuary as opposed to a new one.

“It is our hope that the next rhino captured in Kalimantan will be sent to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary where it can be cared for in a permanent facility by experienced veterinarians and keepers.” the foundation wrote in a statement.

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Rare Sumatran Rhino Dies of Infection Weeks After Discovery