After news that Tam, Malaysia's last remaining male Sumatran rhino, died last week, their prospects for survival in that country seems even more dire.
But the Malaysian government has a plan that just might give the species an urgent boost. Malaysia still has one remaining female, 25-year-old Iman
. Iman has tumors in her uterus which makes her an unlikely candidate for breeding but she is, in fact, still producing eggs. According to Deputy Minister Datuk Christina Liew, the government hopes to harvest Iman's eggs and fertilize them by way of in vitro with the sperm of a male rhino from Indonesia. The embryo could then be carried to term by another female rhino, also from Indonesia.
The ambitious plan would not only give new hope to a future reestablishment of a Malaysian population, but it would also help the species as a whole. The problem is, Indonesia still hasn't agreed to allow any of their rhinos to participate in the program.
If these beautiful creatures are to be saved, conservationists, as well as governments, must act and help assist in any plans that could bring them back from the edge of extinction. That is especially true of the Indonesian government which is home to the bulk of the remaining population. It is imperative the Indonesian government act now and agree to work along with Malaysia in their effort to save the Sumatran rhino. Please sign the petition and tell Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to take action now.