Iman’s condition is touch-and-go

KOTA KINABALU: Iman, the sickly Sumatran rhino, may not survive if her internal bleeding does not stop soon, said Sabah Wildlife Department director Augustine Tuuga.

Tuuga said the Sabah Wildlife Department team is currently maintaining a round-the-clock watch over Iman since December 14.

“They are also feeding her with nutritious food and supplements despite the present weather which made it challenging for the team to gather her food each morning,” he said.

“Iman is presently eating about 40 to 50 percent of her normal intake (12 to 17 kg) and is being hand fed inside the chute whenever she comes in, day and night, and is very selective of her diet of at least ten species of plants. About six species of plants are hung up inside the night stall for her to browse,” he added.

Iman, according to Tuuga, also gets about 3 to 4 kgs of fruits consisting of banana and mango. Fruits are also used as bait for her to take her medicines and she drinks from the water containers provided in the night stall.

“Several times a day, Iman would stand in front of the grilled door to her paddock and look in the direction of her mud wallow. Alternatively, she would get her mud packs twice a day to prevent skin cracks and discomfort. All her foot pads or soles are now detaching since she came into the night stall on December 18, 2017. This could be due to dehydration previously. The raw foot pads are being treated three times daily. At present, as the new soles harden, the detaching foot pads would be removed,” he said.

According to Tuuga further, the recent bleeding is quite severe, possibly from the detached smooth muscle tumour inside her uterus. The blood (with some clots) is seen coming out from her vagina whenever she lies down.

“We are hoping that the Tanexamic acid would help to clot and stop the bleeding into the uterus.

“The same treatment worked for Iman in the previous three bleeding episodes. The main problem is that, with the massive bleeding in the uterus, cauterizing the bleeders might be the only way to stop it. However, no known experts are available to do the procedure and the anesthetic risk is high,” added the director.

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