Breaking News: Javan rhino is ‘extinct in Vietnam’

THERE IS ONE JAVAN RHINO left in the Vietnam wilderness deeming the species extinct in the country.

The finding came from a report produced by the WWF and the International Rhino Foundation, published by the BBC, which claims that after testing dung of the animal that was found in different parts of the forest, all samples belonged to the same rhino.

WWF’s Vietnam director, Tran Thi Minh Hien, expressed his sadness that the efforts of conservation groups failed and said that: “Vietnam has lost part of its natural heritage.”

The reporters concluded that the remaining rhino was killed by poachers, as it was shot in its leg and had its horn cut off.

The illegal wild animal trade is prevalent in Vietnam, as well as other South East Asian countries and is threatening the extinction of a number of species, such as tigers, bears and lions.

In Vietnam, local demand for wildlife and wildlife products for food and traditional medicines — especially derived from rare species such as tigers, rhinos, pangolins, primates, bears, marine turtles, freshwater turtles and orchids — is growing.

Changing attitudes

To address unsustainable wildlife consumption, WWF and TRAFFIC have launched an exhibition on wildlife trade for schools in Vietnam in a bid to educate the youth.

A recent TRAFFIC survey on wildlife consumption in Hanoi showed that nearly 50 per cent of the city’s residents have used products derived from wild animals. Food accounts for 82 per cent of the consumption, followed by 50 per cent for traditional medicines.

It was also discovered that most people were even unaware that the trade was illegal or that it critically threatens biodiversity.

TRAFFIC, WWF and the Vietnamese government have implemented a project entitled: ‘A matter of attitude: Reducing consumption of wildlife products in Hanoi, Vietnam’, which is hoped to be instrumental in changing the attitudes of consumers of wildlife and wildlife products.

– Monica Sarkar

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