Najaq, a rare Sumatran Rhinoceros rescued by animal conservationists has died from infection, recent news reveal.
The rescue of Najaq brought lots of hope and joy especially amongst animal lovers and conservationists. Coming across this rare species of rhinoceros in Indonesia was a big relief as it gave the rescuers an opportunity to relocate the animal to a more secure wildlife sanctuary.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) the Sumatran Rhino together with the Javan Rhino hold the top position for the most endangered rhino species. It is also the tiniest of all the five known rhino species and only 100 animals are remaining.
Scientifically known as Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, the rhino is at times referred to as Hairy Rhinoceros, or Asian Two-Horned Rhino, and is characterized by its long and shaggy fur unlike other species that have a smooth or hairless appearance.
It weighs between 600-950kg (1,300 – 2,000 pounds), has a height of between1.0 to 1.5 meters (3 – 5 feet) from ground to shoulder, and length of 2.0-3.0 meters (6.5 – 9.5 feet).The creature has two horns which are much shorter than in other rhinos with the larger of the two measuring 25-29cm (10 – 31 inches) while the shorter one is between 15 and 19cm (7-28 inches).
Najaq, a female Sumatran rhinoceros was found in a hole/pit in March 12 at Kutai Barat region in East Kalimantan and was believed to be between four and five years old. After her capture, she was moved to a protected sanctuary located 150kilometers (93 miles) away from the highly-populated region that serves as a mining and agricultural centre.
It was later discovered that she had an infection on the leg suspected to have been caused by an earlier wound from snares set by poachers. Though smaller than other rhinos, the Sumatra rhino horns are in high demand especially in the black market and are believed to heal several diseases though these claims have been scientifically not been proven.
Unfortunately, Najaq’s health didn’t not improve and she finally succumbed to death. This news broke the hearts of many people including the animal conservationist, the Sumatra community, and animal lovers. The ministry of Environment in Indonesia states that investigations are underway to determine what exactly caused the death of Najaq.
With only 100 Sumatran rhinos left, more drastic measures are needed to prevent the extinction of this beautiful creature. Lots of emphasis needs to be placed on educating people against poaching for the rhino horns since they don’t have any health or medicinal values. Players in the industry also need to work together to protect the natural habitats of the animals and minimize human encroachment.