On Saturday 23 November, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Imam the last Sumatran rhinoceros died. The 25-year-old Sumatran rhinoceros died because of natural causes. After she was rescued in 2014 it was discovered that she had uterine tumors. She had severe pain from increasing pressure from the tumors on her bladder.
Sabah Environment Minister Christina Liew said “Despite us knowing that this would happen sooner rather than later, we are so very saddened by this news,”
6 months before her death, the only male rhino in the country Tam died. They were meant to marry, but because of their pregnancy and their illness, they were not able to. For future reproduction. For future reproduction researchers have preserved the genetic material from both rhinos so that it can be used. According to Reuter, since 2011 the scientists in Malaysia have unsuccessfully tried to breed the animal through in-vitro fertilization.
The Sumatra Rhino is the only Rhino with two horns and the smallest of the Rhinoceros species. Because of illegal hunting and habitat destruction, the declining Sumatra rhino population is estimated to be between 30 and 80, mostly living in isolated wilderness groups in Sumatra and Borneo.