Saturday, August 22, 2015

All out to save Sumatran rhinoceros in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has expressed strong willingness to do anything it can to save the Sumatran rhinoceros from extinction in the country, particularly in Sabah.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the State government had done a lot to secure a future for the Sumatran rhinoceros in Sabah but there were things beyond their control.

The efforts undertaken have included setting traps in the wild with the hope of capturing more rhinoceros.

However, since the capture of Iman, the female rhinoceros in Danum Valley last year, there have been no new sightings in the wild, said Masidi.

Aside from Iman, there were two other Sumatran rhinoceros now kept at an enclosed facility in Tabin, Lahad Datu. They comprise of Kretam, the sole male in the facility and Puntung. Both females have fertility issues.

Masidi said that other efforts have included forging international cooperation, in particular with Indonesia, to carry out captive breeding.

However, he said that a memorandum of understanding between Malaysia and Indonesia on the matter did not materialise, unfortunately.

Masidi stressed the importance of having government-to-government cooperation in the effort to save the Sumatran rhinoceros because otherwise, the future would be bleak for the species.

Plans to send Kretam to the Cincinnati zoo for breeding was also stopped when Suci, the female Sumatran rhinoceros at the zoo, died.

In addition, the expertise of scientists from the Leipniz Institute for Zoo and Wildife Research (IZW) was also sought to help in breeding efforts.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: All out to save Sumatran rhinoceros in Sabah