Just a couple of weeks ago, an ultra rare Sumatran Rhino was discovered in the wild in Kalimantan, the Indonesia part of Boreo. Recently thought to be extinct in the area, it was the first wild specimen to be discovered in the area in 40 years. It was about 4-5 years old and it was a female.
There are only an estimated 100 of these beautiful animals left in the wild around the world today, so it was a huge discovery by those who found it and led to a lot of excitement in the rhino preservation community.
The Sumatran Rhino was then captured via pit trap so it could be relocated to a much safer and opportunistic location about 150 km away from the pick-up site where it could mate with local Sumatran Rhinos with the hope that it would help with population efforts.
Unfortunately, however, the International Rhino Foundation has announced on its Facebook page this week that the animal did not make it; the Sumatran Rhino has passed away within two weeks after its capture in the wild.
Experts are not yet sure why the animal passed away, although blame is being tossed around on the idea that a leg infection that wasn’t treated in time may have led to the creature’s early demise.
Researchers that look over the region, tracking the animals via footprint and other clues, will continue to do so. It’s believed that by getting these animals out of the wild and into protected captivity, they’ll be safer from poaching and other population-killing activities that have driven the population down as low as it is now.
Saving a species is never easy, but at these numbers, leaving them vulnerable in the wild to poachers probably isn’t the best idea.
Sources: International Rhino Foundation, International Buisness Times