December 28, 2008

Rhino Offers Hope For Species

Wildlife experts announced Wednesday that a male rhino is anticipated to become the primary contributor in a Malaysian breeding plan to save his endangered species.

The 20-year-old Borneo Sumatran rhino, "Tam," was discovered in August with an infected leg wound possibly produced by a poacher trap.

Tam has been moved to a wildlife reserve in Malaysia's Sabah state, where the remaining Borneo Sumatran rhinos live.

Authorities want to convey five male and females to the reserve in the following few years so that offspring production will occur, stated Junaidi Payne, for the World Wildlife Fund's Malaysian Borneo chapter.

"Their numbers are so low that they might drift into extinction if no one does anything," Payne said.

Experts cannot authorize the amount of Borneo Sumatran rhinos that exist in the wild, but guesses vary from 10 to 30.

The Borneo Sumatran rhinos have quickly disappeared recently as their habitat has been destroyed due to logging, plantations and developments.

The rhinos in Sabah's reserve will connect through scent and mate without intervention, Payne noted.

"If they are not stressed out by people, the chances of success should be better," he added.

Hope for the rhinos increased when Malaysian and WWF officials discovered evidence of them in May 2005.


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