Posts Tagged With: Malaysia

The battle to save the Sumatran Rhino

For the smallest and most unique species of rhino, it is a race against time to try to re-populate the Sumatran rhino species. Indonesia and Malaysia are the only areas they are still thought to exist.

In Indonesia there are fewer than 80 left and in Malaysia, the situation is even more urgent, with only three Sumatrans remaining.


One of the three remaining Sumatran rhinos in Malaysia. Photo: Borneo Rhino Alliance

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) supports two critical efforts in Indonesia; 1) they maintain 12 Rhino Protection Units to protect against poaching and
2)support the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), a 250 acre area where a handful of rhinos are given the utmost of care in an intensely managed research and breeding program.

The SRS has been home to rhinos who were born from successful breeding efforts at the Cincinnati Zoo, including the latest resident, Harapan. (see previous post: The Journey of Hope)


Harapan w/ the Director of the IRF October, 2016

Yet in Malaysia, all Sumatrans are thought to be extinct in the wild. So efforts are solely focused on the only 3 rhinos left; the male, Tam, and females Puntung and Iman.

The Borneo Rhino Alliance manages the three, and shoulders one of the greatest responsibilites-creating more rhinos. As the situation is so dire, the hope lies in advanced reproductive technology.


Baby Sumatran @ Way Kambas National Park, photo: metrowebukmetro                           

Teaming up with experts from around the world, attempts are underway to create the world’s first test tube Sumatran rhino embryo and implant it into a viable surrogate.

This may be the only chance for the species, but it’s a costly endeavor. As of June 2016, the group has run out of funds, and won’t be able to continue much longer. To remain operational for the next two years, they need  USD$900’000.

To help, please donate at Saving the Sumatran Rhino. Help keep hope alive.




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Sumatrans: The Forgotten Rhino

Sumatran rhinos are the smallest of the living rhinos, and probably the most unique in appearance. They are covered in hair and most closely resemble their extinct ancestors woolly rhinos.

sumatran range history and current

Borneo and Sumatra are home to the last Sumatrans.

They are the most vocal, and quite agile. Living in jungle conditions, they climb mountains and riverbanks surprisingly easily.

There are less than 150 Sumatrans left in the wild. In captivity there are only 9; and of them,  just two captive females have reproduced in the last 15 years. Doesn’t make for a bright outlook does it?

Sumatrans live in fragmented areas due to deforestation and an ever shrinking habitat. They also face the same peril as their African cousins-poaching.

The plight to save the remaining endangered Sumatran rhinos has grown more urgent following the death of Gelugob. She resided in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park in Sabah, Northern Malaysia, and passed away of old age on January 11th.



For 19 years, experts had studied her breeding habits with hopes of her giving birth. She was unable to produce eggs and did not respond to hormone treatments.

Across the world, in Ohio the Cincinnati Zoo is making efforts to save the species  as well. Infamous for a previously successful breeding program with Emi (see previous post: Emi: the World-Famous Sumatran), they are now hoping for success again by breeding resident Sumatran Suci with her brother Harapan.

With intense efforts worldwide, the remaining Sumatrans are being studied, bred and monitored in hopes of keeping the species alive.

Ratu and Andalas son-

Andatu, born in June of 2013 at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia.

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Joe the Pygmy Elephant: Animal of the Week

Joe trying to revive his dead mom.

Joe trying to revive his dead mom.

In the subtropical rainforests of Malaysia  14 Pygmy Elephants were found dead from poisoning. Among them, a 3 month old baby elephant was found nuzzling his dead mother’s body, trying to revive her. He was taken in by rescuers and is now residing in the Lok Kawi zoo near Kota Kinabalu.

Joe has received round the clock care, including being fed a special formula every 2 hours. He has formed a close bond with his keeper,  who is almost a surrogate mom for the infant.  He says Joe loves to suckle people’s’ thumbs just like a human baby, and despises bath time.

The orphan is active and playful, but it is too soon to know if he will make it. He was malnourished when found, and it is unclear how much poisoned milk he consumed. If Joe survives, he will stay at Lok Kawi along with 16 other orphans who would become his new family.

If he wouldn’t have been found, Joe would have remained at his mother’s side and died of starvation.

There is an ongoing investigation into the elephants’ poisoning,  it is currently thought to be from bait laid out to deter “pests” from nearby palm oil fields.

Joe playing with his keeper, his new "mom"

Joe playing with his keeper, his new “mom”

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The Perils of Palm Oil

This orangatan tried to return to his home after his trees were replaced by palm trees. The locals tried smoke him out, but the tree caught fire with him in it. He died from his wounds.

This orangutan tried to return to his home after his trees were replaced by palm trees. The locals tried smoke him out, but the tree caught fire with him in it. He died from his wounds.

How do Nutella, Velveeta, and Colgate toothpaste spell death for elephants and orangutans? They all contain the ingredient palm oil.

This huge scale of deforestization is driving out the animals, many of which are endangered.

This huge scale of deforestation is driving out the animals, many of which are endangered.

Palm oil is derived from the fruit of African oil palm trees. It is utilized in over 50% of todays products on the market. To keep up with the demand, thousands of kilometres of pristine rainforest are slashed and burned in order to make way for more oil palm plantations, almost all of which is produced in, and exported from, Indonesia and Malaysia.

One of the largest worldwide palm oil companies is Wilmar International. They have done illegal logging and set up new plantations, driving peasants off their land as well as finding new subsidiaries and bribing officials to side step the law.

The good news is-we CAN stop this. By being conscientious of  the things we buy, we can send a message to the palm oil companies that we do not want to be willing participants in the destruction of forests and the death of the animals in them.

For more information:


Aldi Supermarkets
-Damora snack foods
-Belmont Biscuit co.

-GoldenVale cereals
-Dominion products
-Choceur chocolates
-Sprinters chips
-Milfina ice-cream

Arnott’s Biscuits ~ Click here for more brands
-Shapes (AP)
-Shapes Sensations (AP)
-Tim-Tams (AP)
-Wagon Wheels
-Mint Slice biscuit
-Classic assorted
-Lemon Crisp
-Raspberry shortcake
-Arnott’s cookies
-Tiny Teddies
-Jatz Clix biscuits (savoury)
Coles Supermarkets – Coles brand range ~ Click here for more brands
-“You’ll Love Coles” range (ice-cream, garlic bread, milk chocolate etc.)
-$mart Buy
-Coles Pastries: Donuts, Biscuits, Cakes, Muffins & Scrolls (AP)

Colgate-Palmolive~ Click here for more products
-Shampoos (AP)
-Conditioners (AP)
-Body wash (AP)
-Soaps (AP)
-Liquid hand-soap (AP)
-Shower gel (AP)
Colgate~ Click here for more products

-Toothpastes (AP)
-Shaving cream
Fonterra dairy products ~ Click here for more brands
-Dairy Milk
Anchor (Fonterra brand)
-Blue top milk
-Cheese singles
Mainland cheeses (Fonterra brand) ~ Click here for more products
-Edam cheese
-Colby cheese
-Tasty cheese
-Mild cheese
-Special reserve cheese range (AP)
Tip Top ice-creams (Fonterra brand) ~ Click here for more products
-Joy Bar
-Soft serve
-Ice-creams in tub (AP)
-Ice-creams on cone (AP)
-Ice-creams on stick (AP)

General Mills ~ Click here for more brands
-Old El Paso tacos, dips, salsas & tortillas (AP)
-Betty Crocker products (AP)
-Cheerios breakfast cereal
-Nature Valley granola bars
-Fruit roll-ups
-Latina Pasta (AP)
Olay (owned by General Mills)
-Most cosmetics

Kraft ~ Click here for more brands
-Easy Mac
-Deluxe macaroni and cheese
-Peanut Butter
-Philadelphia cream cheese (AP)
-Toblerone Chocolate
-Cool Whip cream

Nabisco (owned by Kraft) ~ Click here for more brands
-Oreos (AP)
-Ritz Crackers
-Chips Ahoy! (biscuits)
-Wheat Thins

Heinz ~ Click here for more brands
-Spaghetti Spaghetti
-Sauces & dressings
-Soups (AP)
-Frozen meals
-Desserts (AP)
-Wattie’s canned snack foods (AP)
-Weight watchers products

Mars Incorporated ~ Click here for more brands
-Mars bars
-Milky Way
-Twix -Bounty -Maltesers
Wrigley’s (owned by Mars)
-5 gum  (AP)
-Extra gum (AP)
-Juicy Fruit gum (AP)
-Starburst lollies
-Skittles lollies
-Hubba Bubba bubble gum (AP)
-P.K. chewing gum (AP)

Mars Petcare ~All brands
-Pedigree -My Dog -Dine -Kitekat -Optimum -Schmakos -Advance
-Royal Canin

Sara-Lee ~ Click here for more brands
-Cakes & cheesecakes (AP)
-Chocolate Pies & Fruit Pies
-Croissants & Danishes (AP)
-Crumbles & Puddings
-Ice Creams (AP)
-Quiches (AP)

Snack Brands Australia – packaged chips ~All brands

-Kettle chips (AP)
-Samboy chips (AP)
-CC’s corn chips
-Thins chips (AP)
-French Fries
-Colvan chips

Uncle Tobys ~ Click here for more brands
-Fruit Breaks bars (AP)
-Chewy bars (AP)
-Bodywise bars
-Le Snak
-Roll Ups

(AP)= All products:- palm oil is found in all products or flavours of this specific brand. Example – palm oil is found in all flavours of Arnott’s Shapes: Plain, Chicken, Pizza, BBQ etc.
Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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