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  SOS Rhino : In the News : News From The Field : Monthly Field Report for August 2006
  Another month of Sumatran rhino surveys. As Malaysians cheerfully prepare for their 50th Independent Day on 31st August 2006, SOS Rhino (Borneo)ís RPUs are busy with their monthly rhino survey and patrol.

Joining SOSRB monthly survey and patrol was a Malaysian volunteer named Hirzi Luqman.

Hirzi Luqman the volunteer

This month, all teams started their usual survey and patrol in the beginning of the month: 1st August 2006 until 21st August 2006. There are five RPUs in action.

RPU1 lead by Marikus Suyat has successfully found rhino footprints. One wallow was found during the survey but it is actively used by the wild boar only. There were also signs of other wildlife such as sun bear. Marikusís teammates include Yusri Madiun, Tinrus Tindok, Justine Segunting and Hirzy Luqman.

RPU2 lead by Lusry Basri together with his teammates; Wilfred Yuya, Dexven Nuvin, Martino Minggo and Rosli Rami Found signs of rhino rubbing on tree bark although there was no sign of the rhino footprints in the area..

Hirzi with SOSRB family in Tabin

RPU3 lead by Amit Pilik and his teammates; Dell Maladius, Medrus Suyat, Lukas Julius and Andrew Ginsos found one wallow and sign of human activities in the area. The team also found tambadauís bone.

RPU4 lead by Suzali Jaya found a new wallow and a rhino footprint aged 1 day!!! Suzaliís team includes Sarinus Aniong, Erman Tara and Rasaman Jaya.

Justin Lanjang as the Team Leader for RPU5 together with his teammates; James Sandiyang, Suhairin Putra, Marikus Suyat and Hirzi Luqman amazingly caught a rhino on tape!!!! Moreover, they have encountered 2 times of direct sightings of the rhino!!! This is the first ever Sumatran rhino from the wild caught on hand-held camera video!!!

“All the hard work for all this while are paid off” Justin Lanjang

Justin said it was just a normal survey for him and his teammates, they walked inside the jungle as usual and suddenly Justin stopped when he heard a sound. He quickly prepared his digital camera while the others keep on walking in front. Then, suddenly out of the bushes, there it was. A male rhino came bursting out from the bushes as it was shocked due to the presence of Justin and his teammates. Suhairin and James, team members of Justinís group were shocked when they were so close to the male rhino. James quickly climbed a tree while Suhairin ran away from the rhino. Even though only several seconds video of the male rhino were captured, the image was cleared enough to prove that Sumatran rhinos do exist in the pockets of Sabahís wild jungle.

SOSRBís volunteer, Hirzi Luqman managed to see the rhino footprints and helped the RPU to gather measurements of those prints. During the month of August, apart from conducting usual rhino survey and patrol as well as volunteer program, SOSRB also did its Community Outreach Program (COP) at four villages that located in and around Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The villages include Kg. Dagat, Kg. Parit, Kg. Tidong and Kg. Tungku.

A cobra found during survey

Siti Azizah Mohd. Yusuff, field coordinator for SOSRB, together with Fiffy Hanisdah Saikim, Masters student of UMS delivered their presentations to the local villagers. Siti gave her talk on the role of SOSRB in Sabah while Fiffy gave her talk on rhino-tourism and local villagersí role in the industry. The villagers have asked for more seminars and talked on conservation done in Sabah. They also wanted SOSRB to at least inform them on the latest matter of conservation especially on rhinos and their role in helping to conserve the wildlife.

SOSRB staffs during Honorary Warden Game demonstration at Lok Kawi, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

13 staff from SOSRB went to Kota Kinabalu from the 27th August till 31st August 2006 to receive their Honorary Game Warden status from the Sabah Wildlife Department .

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