Rare Sumatran rhinoceros, captured on Borneo, dies

April 6, 2016

A rare Sumatran rhinoceros has died just a month after being captured by Indonesian conservation experts on Borneo, where only of a few of the animals survive.

Nyoman Iswarayoga, a spokesman for World Wildlife Fund Indonesia, said Wednesday that the female rhino, named Najaq, had a severe infection from wounds believed to have been inflicted by poaching traps.

Najaq was captured March 12, five months after being identified by forest cameras. Conservation experts have sighted two other Sumatran rhinos on Borneo but believe the population numbers about 15.

Only an estimated 100 Sumatran rhinos remain, mostly in Sumatra, and nine are in captivity. The species was rediscovered in the Indonesian part of Borneo through their trails and footprints in 2013.

The species is threatened with extinction by poaching for its horns, used in traditional Chinese medicine, and destruction of its habitat by farmers, illegal loggers and palm oil plantation companies.

Iswarayoga said an autopsy of the 10-year-old rhino, which died Tuesday, would determine the cause of death.

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