Malaysia's last Sumatran rhino dies from cancer

Malaysia's last Sumatran rhino has died from cancer, meaning the species is extinct in the South Asian country.

Iman had suffered from uterine tumours since she was captured in March 2014.

Augustine Tuuga, director of the wildlife department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island, said tumours on Iman's bladder caused a lot of pain and brought her death sooner than expected.

Iman died of natural causes due to shock at the age of 25, according to the wildlife department in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island.

Sabah environment minister Christina Liew said: "Despite us knowing that this would happen sooner rather than later, we are so very saddened by this news."

Sabah's only male rhino died six months ago and another female rhino died in 2017.

Efforts to breed them naturally failed.

Their eggs have been harvested for reproduction through artificial insemination, possibly in collaboration with Indonesia.

The Sumatran rhino once roamed across Asia and as far as India but deforestation and especially poaching have culled their numbers dramatically.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, just two captive females have reproduced in the last 15 years.

The WWF estimates there are only about 80 Sumatran rhinos remaining in the world, mostly on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and the Indonesian side of Borneo.

Some conservationists expect the whole species will be extinct in a few decades.