Option to stop sick rhino’s bleeding considered too risky

File picture show Iman in her night stall so that vets can have better access to her. — Picture courtesy of Sabah Wildlife
File picture show Iman in her night stall so that vets can have better access to her. — Picture courtesy of Sabah Wildlife

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 8 — The best option to stop the bleeding in a sick Sumatran rhinoceros suffering from uterine tumours has now been considered too risky.

Sabah Wildlife Director Augustine Tuuga said Iman, the country’s only female rhino in captivity, had been losing significant amount of blood each day and this caused her to be lethargic.

“We had several consultations with wildlife veterinarians from USA, Africa and Germany and although the best option is to do an endoscopic cauterizing of the bleeders, her condition at the present time is too risky (for the procedure to be done on her).

“We have agreed to try and slow down the flow of blood out from the cervix and vagina by non-invasive means.

“We hope that this will allow her time to heal and probably stop the bleeding,” he said in a statement here tonight.

Tuuga said Iman’s appetite varied each day, but had slowly increased.

He said she would sleep about half of the day in the night stall where she is being monitored and occasionally browsed on the foliage that was hung out for her several times a day.

“We know she misses her wallow from the way she stares out to her paddock.

“Alternatively, she gets her mud packs thrice a day as she dozes off to sleep,” he said.

Iman has been battling uterine leiomyoma tumour when she began bleeding in her uterus on Dec 14 last year and is being looked after at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu.

She is the only female rhino in captivity in the country after the death of Puntung in June last year due to cancer. — Bernama

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