Tam - the last male Sumatran rhino in Sabah dies | WWF
Tam - the last male Sumatran rhino in Sabah dies

Posted on 28 May 2019

The world has lost yet another magnificent creature and moves closer towards losing an ancient rhino lineage.
“The world has lost yet another magnificent creature and moves closer towards losing an ancient rhino lineage. Teetering on the edge of extinction, the Sumatran rhino is considered the most endangered large mammal on earth. The death of this rhino underscores the critical importance of the collaborative efforts being driven by the Sumatran Rhino Rescue project. We offer our condolences to the Government of Sabah and the Borneo Rhino Alliance team, who cared for Tam in his final years.” said Dr. Margaret Kinnaird, of WWF.

The death of Tam, the last known male Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, should remind us that if we don’t act quickly and boldly, we could lose the Sumatran rhino in our lifetime,” said Jon Paul Rodriguez, Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission.

It is believed that no more than 80 Sumatran rhinos remain, almost all on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. After decades of poaching and habitat loss, the greatest threat now facing the species is the distance that separates their small populations. A tiny population of rhinos of the same subspecies as Tam clings to existence in central Borneo. The Government of Indonesia and an alliance of conservation organizations and on-the-ground experts known as the Sumatran Rhino Rescue have launched a focused and ambitious international effort to bring the Sumatran rhino back from the brink of extinction. The alliance is currently focused on finding and safely relocating the remaining scattered individuals to specialized facilities designed for their care with the hopes of eventually increasing their populations to numbers that allow them to be returned to the wild.
Sumatran rhinoceros
Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).
© WWF / Helmut Diller