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SOS Rhino : In the News: Press Releases : July 10, 2006
  TRACKS OF BABY SUMATRAN RHINO FOUND IN SABAH
  Rare sighting suggests a growing population in the wild

Kota Kinabalu - Good news for Sabah and rhino conservationists in Malaysia, as tracks of a young rhino off-spring was found in the heart of Borneo by a group of rangers from SOS Rhino, a small NGO committed specifically to the conservation of the Sumatran Rhino. This finding suggests a healthy growing population of rhinos in the wild. The sighting of the tracks of a baby rhino proves that there is hope once again for this once dwindling species to return from the brink of extinction.

The rare sighting of the footprints happened when rangers from the SOS Rhino Rhino Patrol Unit (RPU), were trailing rhinos that have wandered away from the protection of the reserve and on to a local palm oil plantation. The Sabah Wildlife Department law enforcement officers were accompanying the crew in their patrols to secure the area until the animals returned to the jungle.

As they followed the animals, the RPU rangers gathered information on what they ate on the way and their activities. During the research, the rangers found small tracks of a young off spring accompanying one of the rhinos found in the area. The baby rhino tracks found for the first time by SOS Rhino is therefore a reason to celebrate, as it brings hope and re-ignites efforts to bring this shy, elusive creature back from the threat of immediate extinction.

The Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is the smallest of the five species of rhinos left in the world, and the only rhino found in Malaysia. Arguably the most endangered of all five species, the Sumatran Rhino faces a bleak future, as unlike other rhinos, the Sumatran’s biggest problem is that pockets of rhinos on reserves are too small and too far apart to create a productive population. Hindered by the vast land and human populations that separate individual rhinos, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to find each other.

FOR THE LOVE OF RHINOS: the little NGO that could

SOS Rhino is a non-profit international foundation that has dedicated its efforts into preserving one of the world’s most critically endangered species, the Sumatran rhinoceros through awareness and education of protecting them and their natural habitat.

With their 20 years of experience in supporting and creating numerous rhino conservation programs across the world, they have over the years built a successful SOS Rhino Borneo project in Sabah, which has the last population of the Borneon Rhino. SOS Rhino has found rhino footsteps, food sources and even salt licks in these areas.

SOS Rhino is fully charged in protecting the Rhino species and have been assisting the Sabah Government since 1998 and have contributed USD 1 million to the cause.

SOS Rhino's Rhino Protection Units patrol the forest preserves of Borneo looking for the shy, elusive creature. Employment of rangers from local families brings much needed income to the villages. Volunteers from all over the world that help the rangers also create a source of commerce and leave behind the conservation message that the world cares. Malaysian can help by contacting Kota Kinabalu office at 088-388405.

SOS Rhino’s Community Outreach Program engages villagers, oil palm plantation owners and employees. Plantation owners have been helping the organization with material supplies and reports on rhinos. In fact the latest report on the roaming of rhinos first came from a local owner.

Assistance from Sabah Wildlife Department Malaysia (JHL), Tabin Wildlife Resorts, and Singapore Zoological Gardens (SZG) has made all this possible and SOS Rhino continues to offer and maintain support and collaboration with many partners, governments and institutions. SOS Rhino is always continuously looking out for new ways to promote conservation and increase fund research for these endangered Sumatran rhinos.

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For more information please visit SOS Rhino’s website at www.sosrhino.org or contact Andora Fredericks at andora.fredericks@ddbpr.com.my Tel: 03-7880 5593/Mobile: 012-3921 553 or Julia Blundell at julia.blundell@ddbpr.com.my Tel: 03-78805593/Mobile: 012-2997705.