Sabah may preserve Tam the rhino's remains for display

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Plenty to offer: Despite passing away the Wildlife Department believes Tam’s genes can still contribute to the preservation of the species.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government is agreeable to the idea of preserving the remains of Tam, the last male Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, but noted it is not an easy feat.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister cum state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew, when responding to such calls, said: " Yes we agree on the suggestion, but there are many procedures to adhere with."

She did not elaborate further when asked about the status of Tam's remains or immediate plans.

Among the suggestions were to showcase the remains at the Sabah Museum in the state capital.

However, Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga said the location where it would be exhibited has not been determined yet.

"The Sabah Biodiversity Conservation Centre hoped it would be displayed at the Chief Minister's office, but we have not made any decision yet," he said.

Augustine noted that Puntung, the cancer-stricken female Sumatran rhino which was euthanised in 2017, was also immortalised and displayed at the Tabin information centre at the State's east coast.

Tam is believed to be around his mid 30s when he died on Monday (May 27) due to age-related health reasons, leaving female Iman to be the sole rhino in captivity in Sabah and Malaysia.

There are only about 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, with most of them living in the jungles of Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia.

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