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Rhino died of bullet-wound infection: WWF
  • | Tuoi Tre | January 21, 2011 02:04 PM

A Javan rhinoceros that was found dead in the Cat Tien National Park last April may have died of infection after being shot in its leg, the World Wildlife Fund said Thursday.

The site where the dead body of the Javan rhino was found. Photo: Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper

Park rangers found the endangered animal’s carcass in an almost completely decomposed state and without its horn.
 
It may have been shot by a poacher for its horn and died two months later from the infection, the WWF said in a report.
 
The animal’s sex is not known but its teeth and bones indicate it have been 15-20 years old, the report said.
 
Sara Brook, a WWF official based in Vietnam, said the shooting of the rhino is a warning for Vietnam about its lax management of wildlife resources.
 
The WWF has asked local police to find the poachers who may be in possession of the horn of what was possibly Vietnam’s last rhino.
 
The results of a study to identify the number of Javan rhinos left will be released soon, according to the WWF. “It will show if the death of this rhino marks the extinction of Javan rhinos,” Brook said.
 
Rhino horns are highly valued in the illegal wildlife trade while the animal’s skin and feces are used for medicinal purposes.
 
Vietnam’s Javan or lesser one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus) population was one of only two left on the planet. Official estimates say there are fewer than 60 left in the world.
 
The major population, of 40-60, is found in Ujung Kulon National Park, Java, Indonesia. There are none in captivity anywhere.

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