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Tuesday, 06 Feb, 2018

Sabah seeking more information on Indonesia's offer for advanced reproductive programme

(File pix) Malaysia’s only female rhino, Iman kept at Tabin Wildlife in Lahad Datu under the care of Borneo Rhino Alliance. Iman is currently suffering from uterus cancer since last month and has shown slow recovery. Pix by Roy Goh

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will obtain further detail on Indonesia’s recent offer to provide the semen of its Sumatran rhinoceros for an advanced reproductive programme.

Sabah Tourism, Cultural, and Environmental Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said although it was just an announcement, getting it done is important.

“I am very cautious because the expression of intention and getting it done are two different things.

“I hope it is confirmed. We thank the Indonesian government for the offer and I will ask my officers to get detail on what are they actually offering,” he said after launching the Lasik service and #LoseTheGlasses campaign at Gleneagles Hospital, here.

Masidi was commenting to the announcement by Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry that the sperm of their captive-bred rhinoceros - Andalas - might be sent to Malaysia this year for its Advanced Reproductive Technology programme.

The plan is to fertilise Andalas’ sperm with viable egg of Malaysia’s only female rhino, Iman, which is being kept at Tabin Wildlife in Lahad Datu under the care of Borneo Rhino Alliance.

If the fertilisation takes place, the embryo will be sent back and implanted in one of the female rhinoceros at the Indonesian sanctuary.

While welcoming announcement, Masidi stressed the health condition of Iman needed to be examined.

“We must remember Iman has health problem. There may be an offer but whether Iman can be fertilised or not is another issue we need to look into.

“All I can say is we need to look at this matter as a global issue and not just our country and Indonesia’s issue.

“Afterall, if the whole rhinocerous is gone then it is not just a lost to Malaysia but the world. This has to be a global effort to save the rhino species,” said Masidi.

In June last year, Malaysia lost a female rhino, Puntung, due to skin cancer.

Iman is currently suffering from uterus cancer since last month and has shown slow recovery.

Source : New Straits Times

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