The Critically Endangered Sumatran rhino is one of the rarest mammals on earth. Thought to number less than 80 individuals, most are now found in Sumatra with a handful remaining in Kalimantan. Previously also found in Sabah, tragically there are now thought to be no more Sumatran rhinos left in the wild here.
Over the last few years, three individuals had been rescued from Sabah’s forests and kept in managed breeding facilities in Tabin Wildlife Reserve in southeast Sabah, run by Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), an NGO set up in the year 2000 to prevent extinction of the Sumatran rhino in Sabah.
Sadly Punting, an adult female rhino, died in 2017 and Tam, an adult male, passed away from old age in May 2019, leaving Iman, an adult female, who died in November 2019 from natural causes, and the species now has been declared extinct in Malaysia.
LEAP has worked closely with BORA in the past and supported its rhino conservation work through fund raising events such as the Rhino Rescue Lunch in 2009, and through facilitating the Sumatran Rhino Crisis Summit in 2013, as well as assisting with media development and being represented on the BORA board for several years.
This process has been an emotional and challenging one, but while Sumatran rhinos still exist in the world, all hope is not lost, and LEAP stands by to help in any way possible.
Further information on BORA can be found in www.borneorhinoalliance.org.
Contact BORA Executive Director Datuk Dr Junaidi Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org.