Critically Endangered Javan rhino killed in Vietnam10/05/2010 17:46:42 One of the rarest animals in the world has been killed by poachers in Vietnam
May 2010. A Javan rhino has been found dead in Vietnam's Cat Tien National, further endangering the population of one of the world's rarest large mammals. It is now uncertain how many, if any, Javan rhinos are left in Vietnam, WWF said.
Killed by poachers
Local people first reported finding the body of a large mammal to National Park authorities on April 29. A forest patrol team was immediately deployed to the site where they confirmed the dead animal was a Javan rhino.
"WWF urges the Vietnamese Government to launch an urgent and extensive criminal investigation into this animal's death," said Dung Huynh Tien.
It is a criminal offence under Vietnamese law to trade, use or consume any part of an endangered animal such as the Javan rhino. Those convicted of this crime can face imprisonment and large fines.
Demand for rhino horn
Vietnam was highlighted as a country of particular concern at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting in March, and Vietnamese nationals operating in South Africa have recently been identified in rhino crime investigations.
Only 40-60 left alive anywhere in the world
WWF recently finished a field survey using highly trained sniffer dogs from the US to locate rhino dung. These dung samples will undergo DNA analysis to determine the exact population status of the species. Results from this study will be available later this year.
WWF will send samples taken from the dead rhino to Queen's University in Canada for analysis to see if the DNA of the dead rhino matches any of the dung samples taken during the population status survey.