Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Turning to IVF race against time to save Sumatran Rhino

The Sumatran Rhinoceros or hairy rhinoceros in Sabah would be extinct if the two remaining female left in the state do not give birth within two years.

There are only three of the animals in Sabah, one male and two females but the male is too old to mate while the two female rhinoceros are estimated to be infertile within one and a half years.

As a result the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is turning to Indonesia for help to impregnate the female rhinos through in vitro fertilisation using the male rhinos there.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told The Borneo Post yesterday that on Sept 24, there was a bilateral meeting between Malaysia and Indonesia where it was agreed that scientists from both sides will meet and discuss the procedure at Lombok, Indonesia.

“They will meet to discuss the signing of a memorandum of understanding to work together to increase the population of Sumatran Rhinoceros and this will include the fertilisation of the two female rhinos by the Sumatran Rhinos from Indonesia.

“With only one and a half year to go, we have to do something before the species is totally extinct from Borneo state of Sabah, we don’t have much time left,” Wan Junaidi said.

The Sumatran Rhinoceros which have two horns, are also known as the hairy rhino. It is the smallest and a rarest member of the rhino family.

The species has been completely wiped out in West Malaysia as well as in Sarawak as there has been no sighting of the mammals.