It’s official: the last male Sumatra rhinoceros living in Malaysia has died.
The Rhino, named Tam, was the last male Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia. Now, experts say there is only one female Sumatra rhino named Iman in the country.
Efforts to try to save the species in Malaysia may have come to a sad end.
Tam fell ill at the end of April, losing appetite and energy.
Eventually, on May 27, the 30-year-old rhinoceros took his last breath in the Tabin wildlife reserve in Sabah, which has been his home since Tam was captured in 2008.
“Today, we bid farewell to Tam, our last surviving male Sumatran rhino,” WWF Malaysia wrote on Facebook and Twitter. “Our hearts are filled with sadness as we mourn not only the loss of wildlife but the loss of a species.”v
With Tam gone, we now only have Iman left, our last female rhino. Let the loss of Tam be the wakeup call. Our
#wildlife needs protection
Today, we bid farewell to Tam, our last surviving male Sumatran #rhino. Our hearts are filled with sadness as we mourn the loss of a species. With Tam gone, we now only have Iman left, our last female rhino. Let the loss of Tam be the wakeup call. Our #wildlife needs protection pic.twitter.com/3E6LbY5EzN
— WWF-Malaysia (@WWFMy) May 27, 2019
And although the rhino did fall ill a few months ago, the exact cause of death remains unknown, but experts believe it may have been due to his kidney and his liver beginning to fail.
This may be simply due to age, as the species usually live between 30 and 40 years.
Although Sumatran Rhinos were declared extinct in wild in Malaysia back in 2015, with Tam alife so was the hope of saving the species.
However, there were hopes of saving the species as scientists tried to breed Tam using IVF with two females of the species. However, the attempts produced no offspring.
According to reports, there are around 80 species in the world inhabiting regions in Indonesia, the island of Borneo, as well as Sumatra.
However, experts have warned that the remaining population are isolated and located far from each other.
Experts want to find Sumatran rhinos in the wilds and bring them into sanctuaries where they can be protected and cared for, in hopes of increasing the chance of producing more calves.
“We just have to look after the last remaining rhino,” Augustine Tuuga, director of the Sabah Wildlife Department, revealed in an interview with the AP. “That’s all we can do, and try if possible to work with Indonesia.”