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Death, tumors harm efforts to save rare rhinos

Published on Apr 5, 2014 4:35 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Efforts to save critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceroses were dealt a double blow this week with the death of one animal in a US zoo and the discovery of reproductive tumors in another.

There are just 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild in their native lands of Indonesia and Malaysia, and nine are held in captivity for breeding purposes.

The lumbering creatures have dwindled rapidly due to deforestation, humans encroaching on their habitat, and illegal poaching for their horns.

Suci, a nine-year-old female, died on March 30 at the Cincinnati Zoo from an inheritable disease called hemochromatosis, in which too much iron builds up in the body.

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