KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s last remaining male Sumatran rhinoceros, affectionately called Tam, has died today about noon at Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu.
Tam’s death has been confirmed related to old age and involved multiple organ failures.
It was reported that Tam’s appetite and alertness had declined significantly since the end of last month.
Urine analysis tests indicated that Tam was suffering from organ damage and poor kidney function.
It spent most of its time lying down, having received round-the-clock attention and medication from keepers as well as veterinarians.
In Aug 2010, a wildlife team captured the male rhinoceros at the Kretam oil palm plantation in Tawau.
At the time of its capture, the rhinocerous was thought to be in its mid-20s. Tam was taken to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve where it had lived ever since.
Tam’s living genome was now preserved in cell culture.
With Tam’s death, Malaysia is now left with one female Sumatran rhinoceros, Iman. She was captured in 2014.
Iman appears to be the last Sumatran rhinoceros that was found in the wild. Since her rescue, no other Sumatran rhinoceros has been detected in Sabah, indicating that the species may have become extinct.