Category Archives: Sumatran rhino

‘Gelugob’, one of only ten Sumatran rhino in captivity passes away in Sabah

New Straits Times, 13th January 2014

By Kristy Inus | [email protected]

KOTA KINABALU: Gelugob, one of only ten Sumatran rhinoceros in captivity worldwide, has died of old age here at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

Her age was estimated at 37 years. There are probably less that 150 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild today, in Sumatra and Borneo.

Park veterinarian, Dr Rosa Sipangkui said in early January her condition suddenly went downhill; “she refused to drink and ate very little.”

“Despite the best efforts of our Veterinary team her condition continued to deteriorate and on the evening of 11th January she passed away ”.

Assistant Wildlife Department director Dr Sen Nathan said Gelugob is believed to have been the oldest prior to her death.

“The last Sumatran rhino to die in captivity was a 33 year old male in Cincinnati Zoo, USA.

“Gelugob was rescued from Bulud Napa, Kinabatangan in 1994. Her age at that time of capture was estimated at around 16-17 years old,” Sen said.

“Though the death of Gelugob is a great loss, this only furthers our determination to do whatever we can to save this species from extinction,” said Datuk Dr Laurentius Ambu, Director of the Sabah Wildlife Department.

Gelugob’s age was estimated at 37 years and considered as one of the oldest Sumatran rhinoceros in captivity. Here Gelugob can be seen in her paddock at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Putatan, Sabah. Pix courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department.

Sabah under pressure to save endangered Sumatran rhinos

The Star Online, 13th January 2014

Gelugob, one of only 10 Sumatran rhinoceros in captivity worldwide, died on Jan 11 at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

KOTA KINABALU: Conservationists in Sabah are feeling more pressure to save the remaining endangered Sumatran rhinos following the death of one of the creatures in captivity, here.

Gelugob, one of only 10 Sumatran rhinoceros in captivity worldwide, died on Jan 11 at the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park.

Sabah Wildlife Department veterinarian Dr Rosa Sipangkui said Gelugob’s age was about 37 years. There were probably less that 150 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild today, in Sumatra and Borneo, he said.

Sipangkui said Gelugob’s health had deteriorated rapidly since early January and it had refused to drink and ate little.

Department director Datuk Laurentius Ambu said conservationists were now even more determined to save rhinos from extinction.

“Sabah now seems to be the only state in Malaysia that has wild rhinos,” he said.

“Rhino numbers are too low and the wild rhinos too fragmented. If we do not intervene and rescue all of them and consolidate them into a managed breeding programme, propagation of new generations of baby rhinos will be impossible,” Laurentius added.

He said if this managed breeding programme was not done, then all the remaining rhinos would meet the same fate as Gelugob; growing old and dying without producing any more young rhinos, resulting in the extinction of this species in Sabah.

Department assistant director Dr Sen Nathan said Gelugob was believed to be the oldest rhino in captivity prior to her death. The last Sumatran rhino to die in captivity was a 33-year-old male in Cincinnati Zoo in the United States.

He said Gelugob was rescued from Bulud Napa, Kinabatangan in 1994. “Gelugob was immediately included into our Sumatran rhino captive programme, which was then located in Sepilok near Sandakan,” he said.

“For the following 19 years, local and foreign experts from around the world tried to breed and study her reproductive behaviour extensively, until 2011, when she was found to be unable to produce eggs, even with hormone treatment, due to her old age,” Sen added.

On March 24 last year, Gelugob was brought to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park from the Tabin Wildlife Reserve  as an ambassador for Sumatran rhino conservation efforts.