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Save the Sumatran rhino ‘because we can’ (commentary)

16 / 03 / 2018, Mongabaycom News

Senior correspondent Jeremy Hance argues today in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald that we should save the Sumatran rhino, the world’s oldest, smallest, and cutest rhino from extinction not only because losing biodiversity is bad for the health of humanity’s environment, but also “because we can.” Mongabay sent Hance to Indonesia in 2017 to visit the remaining Sumatran rhinos (estimates vary from 30 left on the one hand, to maybe 100 on the optimistic side) in the forests and protected sanctuaries where captive breeding is having some limited success. To keep these ‘lovably weird’ rhinos from extinction, the Indonesian government must act, he argues, because even if there’s 100 left, that size population is unlikely to be viable in the long term. Hance filed a series of four reports for Mongabay: Part One looked at how many rhinos remain in the wild Part Two focused on Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and the Rhino Protection Units Part Three discussed the debate over captive breeding versus protecting rhinos in the wild Part Four explores the Indonesian government’s role in rhino conservation. Here’s his feature in the Sydney Morning Herald: Save the littlest rhino “In Rudyard Kipling’s classic story of how the rhino got his skin, the titular character is an unmannered lout. This is how the public imagines rhinos: aggressive, dumb and grumpy – charge first, ask questions never.  But in 2010 when I met my first Sumatran rhino, a fellow named Tam, he whistled at me like a curious dolphin…

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