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SOS Rhino : In the News: Press Releases : April 15, 2001

SOS Rhino Press Releases



Kuala Lumpur – Dr. Nan Schaffer is visiting Kuala Lumpur the 13 and 14 June to promote the saving of the seriously threatened Malaysian Sumatran rhino is the catalyst behind an international partnership announced today. SOS RHINO based in Southeast Asia and Chicago, USA is assisting efforts by the Malaysian government and the Zoo Negara to raise public awareness about the shy, hairy Sumatran Rhino of Malaysia that teeters on extinction. The Zoo will host an exhibit highlighting the rhino started June 5 and showing through August.

With less than 300 Sumatran rhinos remaining, immediate action is needed for this animal to survive, said Nan Schaffer, DVM, a representative of SOS RHINO and an internationally recognized expert on rhino reproduction.
SOS RHINO is working to educate the public about the Sumatran rhino, which, being a shy elusive animal, is not well known or understood by the public. The program includes reaching the public with rhino conservation messages through special exhibits at Zoo Negara, Kuala Lumpur and broadcasting the message via local cable channels. The goal is to raise funds to help support Sumatran rhino conservation programs in Malaysia.
Dato’ Kington Loo, Chairman, Malaysian Zoological Society, Zoo Negara, said funds raised through the collaborative effort would go to Asian rhino conservation programs. “We hope our public education efforts will raise awareness about the terrible situation the Sumatran rhino faces today. Many people are unaware that this species of rhino is so close to extinction”, he said.

“How tragic that we could witness in our lifetime the extinction of an animal that has survived 40 million years”, said Dr. Schaffer, whose 18 years of research in rhino reproduction may provide answers to addressing the problem of saving a species nearly wiped out by humans.
Dr. Schaffer has been providing technical assistance to the Malaysian Wildlife Department since 1991. “The Malaysian Wildlife Department has done a tremendous job working to preserve these rhinos”. She said. “They need further support in their efforts”.

She believes public support can help save the Sumatran rhino through raising awareness of the crisis created by the demand for rhino horn products; supporting anti-poaching efforts; and protecting the rhino’s natural habitat so it can breed and thrive.

SOS RHINO FUND provides financial and technical assistance for research, education and public awareness to secure the survival of rhinos. Contributions support research on rhino reproduction and nutrition; rhino protection units that counter illegal poaching; public education about the rhino; the purchase of much needed equipment; and the upgrading of breeding facilities at Sungai Dusun, West Malaysia and Sepilok, Sabah that provide sanctuary for rhinos.

Contributions made to SOS RHINO FUND at Zoo Negara Malaysia, Hulu Kelang 68000 Ampang,Selangor D>E> Phone: 60 19 355-1506