The Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA) has confirmed the death of the last surviving, male Sumatran Rhino yesterday, via its Facebook page: “It is with heavy hearts that we share the tragic news that Tam, Malaysia’s last male Sumatran rhino, has passed away.”
Tam’s death has left a female Sumatran Rhino called Iman as the sole survivor of the same rare species. BORA further explained that Tam had been suffering from organ failure before his death.
The Sumatran Rhino stands at about 4 feet 3 inches tall, making it the smallest rhinoceros species. The Sumatran rhino, native to Indonesia, is known to possess two horns, covered in hair. According to the World Wildlife Foundation or the WWF, this particular species of Rhino could be found in areas of Indonesia, Malaysia and Southern Thailand.
The WWF also attributed illegal poaching and habitat fragmentation for its extinction. While the official number of the Sumatran Rhinos remain unclear, the International Rhino foundation believes that there are fewer than 80 in the wild. Over the years, Malaysia has attempted techniques for breeding and in-vitro fertilisation to save the rhino, which have proved to be unsuccessful.
Tam’s death followed a series of news about the demise of different species of rhinoceros over the last few years. Recently, the western black rhino and the northern white rhino have also gone extinct.
Image: Al Jazeera