Conservationists rejoice at endangered rhino footage
Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 00:54
Oct. 3 - Conservation groups in Indonesia are rejoicing at footage of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, captured by camera-traps in a forest in East Kalimantan on the island of Borneo. Until recently, the animal was thought to have been wiped out in Kalimantan but the footage confirms that the Sumatran rhino is still clinging on. Rob Muir reports.
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Decimated by poachers for its highly valued horn, the Sumatran rhino was once though to have been wiped out in eastern Borneo - but the camera trap footage demonstrates that one and perhaps more of the animals have managed to survive.
The World Wildlife Fund says the footage was captured in June and August this year.
In the wild, the Sumatran rhino once roamed across southeast Asia but today, fewer than than 300 are believed to survive.
Efforts to breed the Sumatran rhino in captivity have produced mixed results. It's the smallest of all rhino species, but its horn is prized by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, and can fetch up to US$30,000 per kg on the black market.
Conservationists say the new Kalimantan footage illustrates an urgent need to protect and preserve the species in the wild.
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