BY HILARY CHIEW
PETALING JAYA: Another rhinoceros under the captive breeding programme
of the Wildlife and National Parks Department in Sungai Dusun died
of unknown causes on Sunday – 15 months after the death of
a male rhino.
Confirming the death of Rima, a 25-year-old female, department
director-general Datuk Musa Nordin said he had not received the
post-mortem report and declined to speculate on the probable causes.
Zoo Negara chief veterinarian Dr S. Vellayan, who carried out the
post-mortem, said the animal was found slumped in its enclosure
at the Rhinoceros Conservation Centre on Sunday morning.
“Specimens of her internal organs have been sent to several
laboratories in the country and we will only know the results in
the next two or three weeks. Initial investigations did not find
any significant cause of death,” he added.
On Jan 19 last year, 16-year-old Shah died after supposedly recovering
from a short illness, leaving Ara the remaining male to shoulder
the task of propagating the highly endangered Sumatran or Lesser
Two-horned rhinoceros at the centre.
Rima was special to the programme as she was already impregnated
when captured in 1987 and subsequently gave birth to her baby, later
named Minah, at the centre.
The latest development is expected to put further pressure on the
programme, which has yet to produce a baby rhino since it was set
up in 1984 despite numerous reports of pregnancies among the six
females. The pregnancies have so far ended in miscarriages.
In another development, Perhilitan’s Rhino Patrol Unit is
preparing to capture two adult rhinoceros from Kedah next month
following confirmation of sightings in a forested area encroached
upon by logging activities.
Unit officer Kadir Hashim declined to reveal the location for fear
“There is high possibility of hunters and poachers coming
across the animals as the forest cover is being cleared away.
“This will put the animals in danger.
“Therefore, it has been decided that it will be best to capture
them and transfer them to the centre at Sungai Dusun,” he