Image via The Star Online
The only male Sumatran rhino Malaysia had left has died after health complications. Tam, short for Kertam, died at noon today after suffering from kidney and liver damage for some time now.
Tam was the only male Sumatran rhino left in Malaysia. Currently, there is only one other Sumatran rhino left, a female called Iman who suffers from a ruptured tumour in her uterus and cannot produce fertile eggs. There are no more Sumatran rhinos left in the Malaysian wilderness, and the species is now extinct.
Image via Malaysian Gazette
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said she was informed of the unfortunate news by the Sabah Wildlife Department earlier today.
Image via Sinar Harian
Regrettably, Tam died at mid-day, around noon on Monday (May 27). Invariably, everything that could possibly have been done, was done and executed with great love and dedication.
His last weeks involved the most intense palliative care humanly possible, rendered by the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA) team under veterinarian Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Dat
Despite the sad news, Liew said there is still hope for the species as Tam’s living genome has been preserved for cell culture.
We hope that with emerging technologies at cell and molecular level, he may yet contribute his genes to the survival of the species,
With the death of Tam, hope for the Bornean species of rhino is dwindling fast. At this point, Iman no longer has a mate and she may not survive much longer considering her own health complications. It appears that there may be no hope of reversing the extinction of the Sumatran rhino now.