Malaysia struggled to save the Sumatran rhino species, after the country’s last male rhino passed away, dashing the efforts to save the so endangered species.
The 30-year-old rhino, called Tam lived at a wildlife reserve in Sabah state on Borneo island since his capture in 2008, Christina Liew, state minister for tourism, culture and environment, said in a statement.
The Sumatran rhino is known as the smallest species of rhinoceros. And it was officially declared extinct in Malaysia’s wildness in 2015. Now, a female called Ima is the only surviving member of the species left in Malaysia.
According to wildlife experts, there are less than 80 species of rhinoceros left in the wild, all over the world. With most of them living on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and on the Indonesian side of Borneo, ABC News reports.
The species’ dramatically decline was caused by poaching and habitat loss. Because of this, they rarely breed and may go extinct in a matter of decades, according to conservation group International Rhino Foundation.
“Today, we bid farewell to Tam, our last surviving male Sumatran rhino. Our hearts are filled with sadness as we mourn not only the loss of wildlife but the loss of a species. With Tam gone, we now only have Iman left, our last female rhino.
If we are not careful, the Sumatran rhino will not be the only species that will go extinct under our watch. Our other prized wildlife like elephants, pangolins, bantengs and clouded leopards will also likely meet the same fate if we don’t protect them now,” World Wildlife Fund wrote in a Facebook post.