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SOS Rhino : In the News : Sumatran Rhino In The Wild Captured On Video

Sumatran Rhino In The Wild Captured On Video

  September 06, 2006 20:12 PM
Malaysian National News Agency
KOTA KINABALU, Sept 6 (Bernama) -- Environmentalists in Sabah are buzzing with excitement.

Years of patience was finally rewarded when they got a see a Sumatran rhino in its natural habitat on video.

The video clip of the male Sumatran rhino was captured last week by a local ranger hired by Save Our Sumatran Rhino (SOS Rhino), a non-government organisation (NGO), during a daytime routine patrol in a forest reserve in the state (area details withheld to prevent poaching).

"This sighting and rare photos and video documenting the Sumatran rhino in its natural habitat is indeed very exciting. We have been tracking these animals here in Sabah for almost ten years now, and although we have seen tracks and signs of these rhinos, this is the first actual sighting of the endangered animal," said Dr M.S Thayaparan, the Program Officer for SOS Rhino Borneo, in a press conference here Wednesday.

According to him, the Sumatran rhino (dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is the smallest of the five species of rhinos left in the world, and the only rhino species found in Malaysia and the most endangered of all five species.

The Sumatran rhino in Sabah is said to face a bleak future because of its very small population and the animals being too far apart to create a sizable population.

Dr Thayaparan estimated that there are only about 50 Sumatran rhinos left in Sabah.

Meanwhile, the Sabah Wildlife Department deputy director Laurentius Ambu said the department had finished surveying the Sumatran rhino population but with this latest development, it would launch another full-scale survey in November in the area where the video was captured.

The department would collaborate with SOS Rhino, the World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and the Sabah Parks Department in conducting the survey, he said.


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