With only one sighting reported since 2008, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) & the International Rhino Foundation have announced that the Javan rhino is now extinct in Vietnam.
The news does not come as a surprise as the global population of the Javan rhino is less than 50, and Vietnam is known for poaching in order to sell the endagered animals horn.
The Vietnam director for the WWF stated, “It is painful that despite significant investment in Vietnamese rhino conservation, efforts failed to save this unique animal.”
The announcement is based on a report by both groups that stated the only feces found in the Cat Tien National Park of Vietnam from 2009-2010 was that of a single rhino. After the report was released, the groups found that the same rhino had been killed by a bullet to the leg, and the removal of its horn.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature reported that rhinos are facing some of the most aggressive poaching seen in decades. Traffic, the wildlife trade monitoring network, stated that the higher rates of rhino poaching are due to high demands for the rhino horn in Asia for medicinal uses.
Traffic’s rhino expert went on to say “It’s hardly surprising the horn was missing from the last rhino as Viet Nam is the pre-eminent market destination for illegally sourced rhino horns.”
All in all, it appears another amazing creature is closer to extinction due to illegal poaching to fill the “needs” of human kind. With only 50 left globally, one can only hope that the Javan rhino population may finally be protected, preserved, and repopulated.