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Glimmer of hope as Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino shows signs of recovery

27 / 12 / 2017, Mongabaycom News

JAKARTA — Malaysia’s last remaining female Sumatran rhino appears to have overcome the worst of a serious health condition, less than two weeks after it was announced that her condition had deteriorated. Officials from the Sabah Wildlife Department reported on Dec. 17 that Iman had suffered a ruptured tumor in her uterus, causing massive bleeding. Since then, however, an intensive regimen of medical treatment and feeding has raised hopes about her prospects. “A week ago, I was sure she would die,” John Payne, head of the wildlife conservation group Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), which is involved in the treatment of Iman, said in a text message to Mongabay. “But somehow she did not.” Iman, one of only two remaining Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in Malaysia, was captured in 2014 for a breeding program aimed at saving the critically endangered species from extinction. Though Payne said he was “optimistic” about her recovery, he cautioned that she would still require intensive care. “[The] worst seems [to be] over, but we are still worried because there is still flow of blood from [her] uterus and she is eating much less than normal,” he said. “The worry is a combination of not eating enough, for more than a week now, and risk of sudden major bleeding.” Veterinarians and rhino keepers continue to coax the rhino, which currently lives in a paddock at the Wildlife Reserve in Tabin, near the coastal Lahad Datu district of Malaysia’s Sabah state, with her “favorite foods plus intravenous supplements…

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