Rare rhino caught on videotape

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Screenshot of the Borneo Rhino caught on videotape. Credit: WWF.

A camera set up in the jungles of Malaysian Borneo in Sabah by the World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF, has captured, for the first time, a Borneo Rhino on videotape.

"This astonishing footage captures of one of the world’s most elusive creatures. Tremendous progress has been made in recent years to secure the rhino’s habitat but so much more needs to be done considering this species may very well disappear in the next 10 years," said President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund in a press release, Carter Roberts.

In the video, the rhino comes out of the jungle brush and then proceeds to sniff the camera and equipment surrounding it. The video also shows the rhino getting a bite to eat.

It is estimated that there are only 25 to 50 of the rhinos alive on the planet, and they can only be found in the jungles of Sabah, or better known as the "Heart of Borneo." For the past 20 years, the rhino has not been reported anywhere else in Sabah and researchers say that it is likely "extinct" in the rest of Malaysia.

Researchers say that poaching to use the rhino's horn in medicine and encroachment into their habitats are causing them to decline. Researchers also say that because the rhino is so isolated from the rest of Malaysia, that they are rarely able to breed together.

"The rhino is very sensitive to the presence of human beings. Till now, we can still see the rhino, but if we cannot develop any kind of protection method, I think the rhinos will survive less than 10 years," said a project manager for the WWF for elephants and rhinos in the Borneo region, Raymond Alfred.

In 2006, the first ever still image was captured of the rhino.