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. dennis

    I hate people, all that needs to be said...

    October 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I have an old cigarette box carved from a rhinoceros horn. It's on a coffee table now, but I wonder how much money I could get for it.
    On the other hand, maybe I should just chew on its edges and see what happens.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Starman

    It's important to continure to try, but prospects are dim. Human selfishness has no equal.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Meh

    Anyone having Vietnamese Rhino for dinner tonight? If so, please, go diaf

    October 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • tim

      yummy pho rhino...NOT! what a shame always bad news out of that country...they have serious issue!

      October 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. David Crandall

    Humans should not be allowed to reproduce anymore until the animals can have a chance to come back. We need charities that give vasectomies to people, not food.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • People Suck

      Well said David, and 100% agreed

      October 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie Marsh

      Totally agree with you David, it's time that higher benefits and incentives were payed to those oath less or no children and those who continue to breed receive less. This would start to solve the problem.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • compel

      Agreed.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Practical

      Are you joking?

      October 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • compel

      @ Practical, not at all.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBM

      I'm with Practical.... though we should encourage better protection of animals in other countries.... some of the commentaries are so far out in the LEFT field and far fetched it's scary.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. las vegas

    Sadly, once again, Humans = won, Rare Species= loss

    October 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • blah9999

      We'll, if humans =/= won then you wouldn't be in existence to type your stupid post

      October 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Astonlad

    Beautiful creature. Shame this had to happen.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sara Bean

    Look what we did

    Look what we're doing

    Look what we'll eventually do

    October 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • tim

      we are here in america

      they are in vietnam

      they are hungry

      we have grocery store

      they have jungle

      October 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Tim, they were not killed for food by a starving population. They were killed because of backwards illiterate people grinding their horns up for viagra, or whatever they will say its for. The continent of Asia is becoming the single-handed destroyer of wildlife.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ghost of Murdoch

      @Tim. They weren't slaughtered to extinction for their meat – just the horn which doesn't even serve the purpose for which it was taken.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      It stated there's no scientific proof that the horn medicine worked but there's no proof that it didn't... Tim is right it's not like they can go to the store and pick up some med's. Human life will always be more important than an animals sorry to burst your bubble.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBM

      According to the article the animal was killed for the horns, but Mary, Steve and Murdoch the Vietnamese do kill wild animals for the meat as well... the report doesn't say anything about whether the rest of the animal wasn't used, so don't assume that as well.

      October 25, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lara Gourdman

    The circle of life just got smaller....

    October 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. true freedom

    stupid idiot poachers, and those retarded idiots that think these medicine man wives tales actually work, should all be poached and made extinct.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      I'm sure it was done for money. Not much different from what happens in this country and what people here do for money.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JOE

    So what's the big deal here? How many Vietcong civilians did we murder in our war in the name of democracy? One million? Please, give me a break! By the way, there's one roaming wildly on Crawford ranch. Vietnam could have it if they so choose!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conky2012

      Whats the big deal? JOE, you are an embarrassment to Americans. People like you give United States citizens a bad name. Moron.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      So what do Rhinos in Vietnam have to do with the Vietnam War and President Bush even? You are suh an idiot! If you hate America so much, go live in Vietnam you dope.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Starman

      Read the article Joe. Adding another Rhino in Vietnam is a non starter.

      October 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DBM

      You mean the Vietcong weren't expecting any casualties while invading the south? Was it just supposed to be some sort of cakewalk to take over another country? What meds are you on anyway?

      October 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Francesca

    I tried to get Ebay to stop allowing elephants products to be sold out of Zimbabwe. It worked for a minute but keeping up with that is a full time job. Now lets focus on China taking over Africa before we read about the last of the African Black Rhinos being killed...

    October 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. F Dog

    Yeah, well, while the wild ones may be gone there's a little doubt that we will be able create clones of these things and put them in a zoo somewhere. Newsflash.....99% of all species that have walked this Earth has gone extinct, IMO this is partly due to the dominant species of the era setting the ground rules. I say let's keep this human dominance thing going!!!!

    October 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Well, if that's the case, then let's kill them all right? We've got the guns, which makes us universally dominant, so clearly we don't need any of them. Once all the animals are gone, we can start hunting each other and then we'll have some real fun!

      But seriously, think things through before you post, mmmmkay?

      October 25, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. James

    Just like other archaic and outdated belief systems around the world (e.g. religion) followed by arrogant people who refuse to live in the reality of today, those who ignorantly believe in medicinal cures from rhino horns (of all things) never realize the harm and damage they've actually caused from their own irrelevent and outdate beliefs (e.g. the wild extinction of an animal species). Sigh...brains so big, yet still so dumb.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Maria

    We American's should speak. In order to save a few cows that are open range grazing on government property and the influx of mass housing projects that encroach on our diminishing lands we allow precious wolves and bears to be destroyed thus upsetting the ecosystem right here in America and thus ensuring future generations the only access to animals is stuffed and mounted in museums.

    October 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
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