KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia's last living female Sumatran rhinoceros is suffering from a serious illness, according to Sabah wildlife officials.
Iman, who lives at a forest reserve in Lahad Datu, has been experiencing bleeding from her uterine leiomyoma tumours for three days, according to Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga.
"Usually (the bleeding) can be treated with medication and supplements. This time Iman is refusing to leave her mud wallow and she has hardly eaten. So the usual treatment has not been possible. She charges at anyone who comes near," Mr Augustine said in a statement on Sunday (Dec 17).
The department believes that one of her larger tumours might have ruptured and is causing pain and bleeding.
To make things more difficult for the staff, heavy rainfall has caused Iman’s paddock to become a quagmire, added Mr Augustine.
"Borneo Rhino Alliance veterinarians are constantly monitoring Iman, along with the keepers. We are hoping for the best and will keep the public informed," he said.
Iman was the last wild rhino found in Malaysia. She was captured in Danum Valley and transported to Lahad Datu in March 2014.
Despite being diagnosed with severe fibroids in the uterus, Iman still produced eggs for in-vitro fertilisation attempts.
According to the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos are left globally.