KOTA KINABALU: With no more Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in Sabah, Indonesia has agreed to work with the state on breeding the species.
Deputy Chief Minister and state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said Sabah Wildlife director Augustine Tuuga had informed her that discussions with Indonesia on the matter were ongoing.
She said there had been discussions in the past on “loaning” rhinos from Indonesia for breeding purposes.
“There are two rhinos still in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, but there are no more in the wild,” she added.
The remaining female rhino Iman, and male rhino Kertam, are being cared for by non-governmental organisation Borneo Rhino Alliance, at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu.
In 2017, Sabah had to euthanise another female rhino, Puntung, who was suffering from cancer.
Earlier, during the question and answer session, Liew said there have been no sightings of the species in a population survey held at key forest reserves since 1978.
Liew was answering questions by Calvin Chong (DAP-Elopura) on whether there were findings of Sumatran rhinos’ footprints after 2016 and what measures were being taken to restore the habitat for the species.
“Ulu Segama Forest Reserve and Tabin Wildlife Reserve are still viable as habitats for the species although there is no population of rhinos (in the wild) in these areas.”