A Sumatran rhino that was found in the Indonesian part of Borneo last month died early on Tuesday. The cause of death is still being determined, but there are indications that the rhino was suffering from a severe infection caused by snares from an earlier poaching attempt. News of the first encounter with the rhino was celebrated two weeks ago by WWF. Unfortunately, the organization must now lament its death. WWF is saddened by the news, but is no less committed to continue its work on rhino conservation.
In reaction to the news, Carlos Drews, Director, WWF International Global Species Programme, said:
“WWF is saddened by the news of the death of the Sumatran rhino found in Kalimantan. The hope we felt a few days ago was in celebration of the first live sighting of a rhino that was thought to be extinct in the Indonesian part of Borneo until recent surveys revealed footprints of this unique species. Today we feel despair over the loss of that same rhino. We now know that there are more Sumatran rhinos in this region and we will work to protect the remaining individuals. This was the first physical contact with the species in the area for over 40 years, we will make great efforts to make sure that it is not the last.”
Arnold Sitompul, WWF-Indonesia Conservation Director, said:
“The sad death of this rhino reminds us of the tremendous challenges associated with protecting the Sumatran rhino population in the Indonesian part of Borneo. While the cause of death is still being investigated, we are concerned by the indication that the rhino was suffering from a severe infection caused by snares from an earlier poaching attempt. This demonstrates the threats faced by the Sumatran rhino and underscores why we need to continue our efforts with the strong support of the government and other experts to save the remaining population of Sumatran rhinos in the area.”