Iman, the Last Female Sumatran Rhino in Malaysia, Has Died
The last Sumatran rhino died in Malaysia Saturday, making the critically endangered species extinct in that country.
The last rhinoceros was a 25-year-old female named Iman, who passed away at 5:35 p.m. Borneo time, BBC News reported. She had suffered from cancer since she was captured in 2014, and a wildlife official said that painful tumors on her bladder caused her to die sooner than her caretakers had anticipated, according to Sky News.
"Despite us knowing that this would happen sooner rather than later, we are so very saddened by this news," Sabah State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christine Liew said, according to Sky.
This was Iman, who died aged 25 from natural causes and was Malaysia's last Sumatran rhino, meaning the species is… https://t.co/rMj58uhdX5— Sky News (@Sky News)1574671204.0
Iman's death comes six months after the death of Malaysia's last male Sumatran rhino, Tam, National Geographic reported. There are around 80 Sumatran rhinos left in Indonesia, the only country the species now calls home.
"The public needs to understand how precarious the survival of Sumatran rhinos is," International Rhino Foundation Executive Director Susie Ellis told National Geographic. "Tam's loss represents roughly one percent of the population."
Sumatran rhinos once lived throughout Asia, even extending as far as India, according to Sky News. But their numbers were decimated by habitat loss and poaching. The species has declined by more than 70 percent in the last 20 years, and is likely the most endangered large mammal on earth, according to the International Rhino Foundation.
Now there are so few Sumatran rhinos that conservationists think the greatest risk to their survival is isolation, National Geographic explained. This is because the female rhinos develop cysts in their reproductive tracts if they do not mate on a regular basis.
Failed attempts to breed Tam and Iman were a case in point: Tam did not have very high quality sperm, but Iman's uterine tumor prevented her from conceiving at all, according to Save the Rhino. Genetic material from both Tam and Iman was gathered in the hopes that their cells could one day be converted into embryos and placed in a surrogate mother.
Both Save the Rhino and the International Rhino Foundation are part of a collaboration called the Sumatran Rhino Rescue alliance. The alliance is fighting to save the species by capturing isolated rhinos and bringing them together for captive breeding. In 2018, they succeeded in capturing a female named Pahu, who appears reproductively healthy and is doing well in a breeding facility, according to National Geographic.
Sumatran rhinos currently live in five fragmented groups in Indonesia, four in Sumatra and one in Indonesian Borneo, Save the Rhino explained. The groups are so small and disparate that it is hard for individuals to find mates.
"Iman's death is a very sad loss for Sumatran rhinos, reminding us all of the urgency to protect these wonderful creatures," Cathy Dean, CEO of Save the Rhino International, said. "All hopes for the species now rest on Indonesia's Sumatran rhinos found on the island of Sumatra and in Kalimantan, in the south of Borneo."
By Kiyoshi Kurokawa and Najmedin Meshkati
Ten years ago, on March 11, 2011, the biggest recorded earthquake in Japanese history hit the country's northeast coast. It was followed by a tsunami that traveled up to 6 miles inland, reaching heights of over 140 feet in some areas and sweeping entire towns away in seconds.
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c5a625c9013ad84ea4c23c52181dde22"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZK8UBHMo04U?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Nuclear power generates about 10% of the world's electricity (TWh = terawatt-hours). About 50 new plants are under construction, but many operating plants are aging. World Nuclear Association / CC BY-ND
<div id="07c42" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ac2be7bdc1a748c089d24d27f01992a2"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1366694917045690369" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🇸🇪 Nuclear Safety statement in IAEA BoG: Important safety upgrades introduced at 6 remaining nuclear power stations… https://t.co/FrgHv4N4UL</div> — SwedenUN Vienna 🇸🇪 (@SwedenUN Vienna 🇸🇪)<a href="https://twitter.com/SwedenUN_Vienna/statuses/1366694917045690369">1614680434.0</a></blockquote></div>
Author Najmedin Meshkati holding an earthquake railing in a Fukushima Daiichi control room during a 2012 site visit. Najmedin Meshkati / CC BY-ND
- Fukushima Disaster Doesn't Stop Japan From Including Nuclear ... ›
- Nuclear Power 'Cannot Rival Renewable Energy' - EcoWatch ›
- The Future of Nuclear Power Is 'Challenging,' Says WNA Report ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
"Watch. Connect. Take Action."
These words are the invitation and mandate of the WaterBear Network, a free film-streaming platform that launched in November of 2020. Its goal is to turn inspirational images of the natural world into actions to save it.
WaterBear CEO Ellen Windemuth uses films to inspire planet-positive actions. WaterBear
- 'My Octopus Teacher' Stuns Audiences, Reinforces Power of Nature ... ›
- 3 New Environmental Docs to Watch This Fall - EcoWatch ›
- Ahead of UN COP26, Survey Finds International Support for Greater ... ›
By Kenny Stancil
Amid the ongoing climate emergency and the devastating coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S. alone as well as an economic meltdown that has left millions of people unemployed, the Sunrise Movement on Thursday launched its "Good Jobs for All" campaign to demand that lawmakers pursue a robust recovery that guarantees a good job to anyone who wants one and puts the country on a path toward a Green New Deal.
<div id="c7fe3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5664692fdfd187db01eff5ac2787c564"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1367650177436311562" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">We’re coming together to fight for each other and guarantee #GoodJobsForAll Join us: https://t.co/MoJhmlzoaS https://t.co/IAPa8DeeLR</div> — Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@Sunrise Movement 🌅)<a href="https://twitter.com/sunrisemvmt/statuses/1367650177436311562">1614908186.0</a></blockquote></div>
- Climate Leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins Hundreds of ... ›
- Sunrise Movement Rallies at Texas Capitol for Green New Deal ... ›
- 1,000+ Youth Activists Storm Capitol to Demand Green New Deal ... ›
bpperry / Getty Images
By Tara Lohan
Each year the amount of plastic swirling in ocean gyres and surfing the tide toward coastal beaches seems to increase. So too does the amount of plastic particles being consumed by fish — including species that help feed billions of people around the world.
Blue shark at Cape Point, South Africa, 2016. Steve Woods / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›