April 21st, 2010
01:02 PM ET

Camera captures rhino that is near extinction

A Sumatran rhino, which is near extinction, was photographed in Borneo.

A remote camera in the Malaysian section of Borneo has photographed a Sumatran rhino, a species near extinction, the World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia announced on Wednesday.

The animal in the photo taken February 25 appears to be a pregnant female less than 20 years old, buoying hope for the species believed to have fewer than 30 animals left in the wild in Borneo, according to a WWF statement. Only 200 Sumatran rhinos total remain in isolated areas across Southeast Asia, according to the International Rhino Fund.

“It would be wonderful if this female is pregnant, since there are so few Sumatran rhinos left in the world that each calf represents a lifeline for the species,” rhino expert Terri Roth says in the WWF statement.

Sumatran rhinos are also called hairy rhinos, as their shaggy coats set them apart from other rhinos that appear hairless.

Laurentius Ambu, director of Sabah Wildlife Department, whose camera captured the image of the rhino, said the image shows conservation efforts in the region are paying off. Habitat conservation and a breeding program for the isolated rhino population are being implemented, Ambu said the WWF release.

“The future of rhinos in Borneo now depends on how seriously the enforcement and security work in the forest reserves can be implemented and coordinated,” said Raymond Alfred, head of the Borneo Species Program of WWF-Malaysia.

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soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Drea

    Some of these comments are absurd, sickening or just plain stupid. People, please stop being so cavalier about the threatened extinction of creatures such as these. 'The Crypticum Keeper' raises excellent points around the delicate ecosystem in which we live. It's clear that we don't always fully understand the impact of one creature's endangerment or extinction, until it happens and affects other parts of the chain. So let's all please try to have a little respect for all creatures who reside on the planet on which we live, rather than posting (supposedly) witty remarks about what these rhinos might taste like.

    April 23, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Leonard

    Just great! you gave the location of this rhino and now every poacher and their mothers will be heading that way.

    April 23, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. andres

    wow what an idiot....

    April 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Allan

    Why worry about one rhino? I didn't really have a well thought out answer when I considered it. I like Jackie's response that she wants it to be around for her children, though I don't think this will convince everyone. Dr. E.O. Wilson was recently on the Diane Rhem Show and summarized the importance of biodiversity in 45 seconds. Essentially his argument was that humans have developed, evolved, and adapted within a certain environment, and that our actions that are quickly and drastically affecting our environment – and the impact on us and our environment is unknown. I believe this is especially true as our world is increasingly interdependent. If you don't care about this for the environment's sake, you should at least be concerned that it could hit your wallet and health down the road, and no one really knows how.

    April 23, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shannon

    I think rino's are very cool. What if we never saw another bald eagle? Now we can and be very proud that we did something about a very beautiful and magestic bird.

    April 23, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. N K Ali

    Fantastic ! mama terra firma knows how to look after her possessions. The good thing is the discovery and learning more about the miracles going on around us...........ONLY (No killing / caging, please). Lets respect them and let them share the earth for which they have an equal RIGHT. See the Disney film OCEANS and tell me if I'm wrong. LIVE AND LET LIVE.

    April 23, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sdgman

    I have a beautiful piece of ivory carved from a Sumatran Rhino Horn... it depicts a great white hunter.... my family has cherished it for the last two years since we had it made...

    April 23, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sava

    ""If all the animals were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit".. Chief Seattle"

    April 23, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Against morans

    Khandahar, Afgantistan you moran. your stupid head will make a great target

    Where could I rent a hunting cabin around there, anyone?

    Posted by: Guest of Honor

    April 23, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Michael

    Personal choices such as consumerism and overpopulation play a role in habitat destruction. Please keep these issue in mind when you make decisions. EVERY person can make a difference in our planet's health.

    April 24, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Vegan tree hugger

    Obama must pass laws banning consumption of all animal flesh, Let's all hold hands and eat tofu and beans together!

    April 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. leon

    Comments not taking species extinction seriously, bother me. I read one comment joking about hunting these animals. I know it is in good fun but the fact is that all animals in nature do some kind of work. If one species disappears, this leaves other animals and more importantly humans to pick up their slack and deal with their consequences. There are plenty of other animals to hunt, or fish. Any person who hunts internally respects the wildlife he/she pursues, and the ecology of such and surroundings. You do not "need" to hunt extinct species. It is a tremendous burden on nature, and more importantly man.

    April 24, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paradowski

    Thank you CNN for including this story - I really wish you would add an "Environment and Science" main section.

    Thank you and Best Regards and Wishes for success, to the the World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia and Sabah Wildlife Department, and all working to save the Sumatran rhino and Borneo biodiversity.

    There are likely many species that are inter-dependent with the Sumatran rhino...from the plants it eats and seeds it may disperse, to the areas their bodies clear and open for other plant species, to insect associations - there may be specific Sumatran Rhino dung beetles! Sure ignorant folks will think all of this is not important (as they may rush to the store for the next 'all important' computer game app) but many people do realize how incredibly cool and important is the preservation of biodiversity and places like Borneo.

    April 25, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
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