Last rare rhinoceros in Vietnam killed by poacher, group says
The killing of the last Javan rhinoceros means the population is gone forever from Vietnam, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
October 25th, 2011
09:40 AM ET

Last rare rhinoceros in Vietnam killed by poacher, group says

Vietnam's rare Javan rhinoceros was declared extinct in that area after poachers killed the last remaining animal in the country for its horns, the World Wildlife Fund said.

“Vietnam must see this loss as another warning sign of its looming wave of species extinctions,” Dr. Barney Long, WWF’s Asian species expert, said in a statement. “The single most important action that is needed to save remaining threatened species like tigers and elephants is protection.”

The country had been struggling to keep the population alive amid widespread poaching that the WWF said was the cause of many Asian rhino species being brought to the "brink of extinction."

The WWF said people in certain parts of Asia believe the horns, when ground down and dissolved in boiling water, help treat typhoid fever or even cancer, the WWF said, noting that there has been no scientific proof of that.

The group said trying to bring the species back into the area won't work.

“Reintroduction of the rhinoceros to Vietnam is not economically or practically feasible," WWF’s Asian Elephant and Rhino Program Coordinator Dr. Christy Williams said.  "It is gone from Vietnam forever."

So now, the Javan rhino only exists in one area in the world, according to the WWF.

The Javan rhinoceros is in danger of becoming extinct.

The group reported that there is one population of less than 50 animals in the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. Now, workers will turn their attention there, working with anti-poaching patrols to hopefully keep the species from going extinct.

“For the Javan rhino, we now have to focus entirely on one site in Indonesia where strengthened protection is needed along with fast-tracking the proposed translocation and habitat management,” Long said.

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Filed under: Rhinos • Vietnam
soundoff (878 Responses)
  1. Fred

    Stupid zipperheads. WE should have finished you guys off during the war.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Les

    What a mark against humanity. The irony is that had the poachers practiced good animal husbandry there would be enough of these noble creatures to both sustain their populations and allow for limited harvest. Poachers can't see beyond the end of their guns and are so stupid they do not understand that a large breeding population of rhinos is far more valuable as a tool of sustained harvest instead of a greedy kill them all now while we can mentality.

    Having said that, it is very unlikely that the small herd of 50 remaining animals will be enough to reestablish this species.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seriously

      Let me tell you, Vietnamese people don't have enough education to understand any of this crap, If you got lost in Vietnam's forest/jungle, you never have worry about being eaten by wild animals, because vietnamese people ate all the wild animals, as well as, if you lost in Vietnam's sea, You name it, they eat them all, from shark, crocodile, to dophins. Do you blame on them? 'NO" What the hell are they going to eat? They are so poor, and don't judge, you would do freaking the same thing.
      Most of vietnamese people are old fashion, they rather eat posions and die, than take modern medicine. They don't have any education to understand. Most of the leaders in high position run the country don't know jack. The reason they are sitting up that high, because the reward theirself, base on how many american soldiers they killed during the war.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Sorry folks, species go extinct all the time even without our help. Put into perspective, this has absolutely no impact on anyone's life except the poachers, who now have nothing.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      But this was with our help.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh Jass

      Hey bob, please provide a list of all the species who have become extinct without our help.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • tati

      What about the rhinos – you do not think it had a bit of an impact on them?

      October 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trent

      Yes, plenty of species go extinct, that is true. But how does that excuse us from single-handedly causing the extinction of one? Your argument is akin to saying it's okay to murder people, since they die without help anyway.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Arrogant much?

      October 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Hey Hugh,
      .How about all the different species of dinosaurs? 99% of all species that have ever existed on Earth are extinct, most of which were gone long before we showed up.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      @Hugh Jass (clever name...)
      99.9% of all species to ever exist on the planet have gone extinct. That's the way of life on this planet...it comes and goes. Your sarcastic question to "bob" that acts as though mankind (who's been here for less than the blink of a geological eye) is responsible for the majority of extinctions is absurd and entirely ignorant.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Notatall

      Would love to send you to Vietnam for Halloween in a Rhino costume

      October 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • src

      What an ignorant, narrow-minded comment.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      I feel like you are just being smug for the sake of being smug. Some species go extinct without our help. Many have gone excinct recently because of us, including apparently this Java Rhino in Vietnam. Despite what your politics are, I think you'd still agree that it's sad that such unique creatures are now vanished due to short-sighted poaching.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      You are an idiot Bob. The extinction of an animal does have an impact on peoples lives. Not just the poachers. You're too stupid and ignorant to know better. Let me guess, you believe in the Rapture and love Sarah Pailen right?

      October 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derek

      @Trent
      Your analogy is fallacious on several levels. To start, "bob" never gave an opinion one way or the other on whether he considered it ok or not to kill the rhino. He merely pointed out that people who were commenting that mankind is destroying life on the planet merely because of the report of one species being poached. Secondly, it is not at all analogous to murder of a human being from a purely legal point of view, as no country considers poaching as serious an offense as murder of a human.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      There was only 1 left. It was gonna die without breeding anyway. Yes, humans caused this but its not like its a big surprise.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      @Derek, your comment about 99+% species on Earth going extinct without human help, but you are comparing apples and oranges. Over the vast stretch of Earth's history, billions of years, almost all extinctions have occured without our intervention, but in the last 500 years and especially in the last century, many species have gone extinct because of the various actions of humans, so much so that we've dramatically driven up the RATE of extinction in a way that wouldn't have happened if we weren't here. I don't want to delve too much into the implications of that, I mostly wanted to point out the apples and orange difference you may have overlooked.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Hugh,

      "please provide a list of all the species who have become extinct without our help" - okay... not the individual species, but lots of extinctions.

      1. Ordovician Extinction - about 60% of marine invertebrates wiped out. Land animals didn't exist at the time.
      2. Late Devonian Extinction - 70% of all species on earth wiped out.
      3. Permian-Triassic Extinction - "The Great Dying" lost 96% of all marine species and 70% of all land vertebrate species on Earth. It's the only known mass extinction of insects.
      4. Triassic-Jurassic Extinction - At least half the species on earth wiped out.
      5. Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction - 75% of all species on Earth wiped out.

      Humans weren't around for any of these.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • HumanImpact

      It doesn't matter really. We will cause our own demise and then just maybe the last human to die by human hands can add our species to the list that "humans" eradicated. People in general are ignorant.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      James, your extinction list is correct, but while humans are not responsible for those extinctions, our actions are responsible for the current wave. That we didn't cause the last five doesn't get us off the hook for now. One only has to look at the prime drivers of extinction events today: habitat loss due to development and poaching.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Well at least we can scratch them off the endangered list and move on to something else. We didn't really need them anyway.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. strangways

    well, hope the Chinese enjoy its horn for "medicinal purposes". this won't end until new generation of Chinese stop eating all the rare wildlife. what a shame. (BTW, the poacher(s) should be strung up by their heels, il Duce style.)

    October 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      This was Vietnam, not China

      October 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Sick and tired of such comments... anything the Chinese do have to be bad... anything the Caucasians do have to be good.... that's why Africa is in such a deep... s...t now... and don't forget your slaves... sure... how about the Native Americans? The racist comments I get that is accompanied with a spit on the face when I travelled in Europe? Well, it's still the fault of Chinese... ok, I understand.... it's all my fault.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. csam18

    Yeah.. because poaching only occurs in Asia and only by Asians.. you're all idiots if you believe this.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hugh Jass

    People suck.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. j0eschm0e

    dumb azzes, but if it was the last rhino of that species, they cant breed by them selves

    October 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • courtney

      there are still about 50 in Java

      October 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Prohibition harms

    I wonder how many the USA killed and are killing with left over chemicals from the nam war. We sure did a number on that country and we should feel responsibility for the extinctions also. I saw photos of the bombed out countryside back in the early 70's and I wondered how qnything could live and then there was all that agent organge we sprinkled on the forest.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      That's a good question, considering how that stuff resides in the environment. I'd wager that it probably dipped a lot of animal populations in the 60s and 70s due to immediate habitat loss and birth defects, but the birth defects wouldn't carry through since those babies wouldn't have survived to reproduce. I'd imagine it brought populations down initiallly. I smell a doctoral thesis subject if it hasn't already been written:)

      October 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      All US cares about are these rhinos.... Vietnamese who got killed by Orange agent are less than humans... US government doesn't even care about their own soldiers who are dying overseas for literally nothing!

      October 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tyokol

    Asia is where people are most corrupt.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • lavaadv

      It's also the world's capital for communism. Corruption and communism go hand in hand.

      October 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Sure... 10% of white people occupying 50% of the world's prime land.... I'm sure White people ain't really that greedy.... they just want more spaces for themselves...

      October 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. j0eschm0e

    dumb azzes, wouldve been much better to maintain a population, than to kill the last one, now the poachers have nothing, and will move on to the next money maker.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Just a Guy

    I cannot figure out of you are a racist or an idiot with your post...I'll just go ahead and believe you are both.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. J.C. Denton

    What a shame. They were good animals. What a rotten way to die.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ted Nugent is Bush's next door neighbor

    Fmr. rockstar Ted Nugent operates a big-game hunting operation about 10 miles outside of Crawford,TX and is "dubya" Bush's next door neighbor. He imports exotic big game from around the world, and rich people pay him big bucks to hunt exotics with FULLY automatic weapons. But he's also married to a woman he and his fmr. wife adopted when she was just a little girl, so is it any wonder?

    October 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tony1954

    Asians in general have no respect for life at all. They massacre animals (on land and sea) for ridiculous reasons that make no sense whatsoever.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Seriously

    Let me tell you, Vietnamese people don't have enough education to understand any of this crap, If you got lost in Vietnam's forest/jungle, you never have worry about being eaten by wild animals, because vietnamese people ate all the wild animals, as well as, if you lost in Vietnam's sea, You name it, they eat them all, from shark, crocodile, to dophins. Do you blame on them? 'NO" What the hell are they going to eat? They are so poor, and don't judge, you would do freaking the same thing.
    Most of vietnamese people are old fashion, they rather eat posions and die, than take modern medicine. They don't have any education to understand. Most of the leaders in high position run the country don't know jack. The reason they are sitting up that high, because the reward theirself, base on how many american soldiers they killed during the war.

    October 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
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