KOTA KINABALU: Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said there are only 200 Sumatran Rhinos left on earth and only 30 of the 200 rhinos are living in Sabah.
He said they were killed for their horns, which were believed to be nutritious.
However, the minister stressed that rhino horns do not carry additional nutrients, as a scientist told him.
In fact, consuming a rhino horn is similar to eating a person’s finger nails, he pointed out.
Masidi said that at the Sime Darby Rhino Walk which was held in conjunction with the Minggu Saham Amanah Malaysia (MSAM) here yesterday.
“If we keep on hunting (Sumatran Rhinos), there will be no more Sumatran Rhinos left in Sabah.”
Sime Darby, through its foundation, Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD), has committed RM11.4 million for Borneo Rhino Sanctuary (BRS) located at Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu from 2009 till 2015.
The project is a collaboration with Sabah Wildlife Department and Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA) to conserve the critically endangered Sumatran Rhinos.
Masidi also urged corporations in Sabah to save endangered species as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme as done by Sime Darby.
“We can be rich, but the best inheritance to leave for our next generation is those who are endangered, so that the next generation can appreciate them,”he said.
The Sim Darby Rhino Walk attracted more than 6,000 participants from all walks of life.
The event was jointly organised by Yayasan Sime Darby and Federal Youth and Sports Department Sabah to promote MSAM 2012 which will be held at Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex from April 20-28.
Masidi also urged the public to visit MSAM 2012, saying that it would be an educational week, as well as a stimulant and source of inspiration to improve the State’s economy.
The walk also aimed to help raise awareness of the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary initiative in the State.
Meanwhile, Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad executive director Dato’ Idris Kechot said the Sime Darby Rhino Walk was previously held in Kampung Sungai Kayu, Sandakan on March 31 and Tuaran on April 7.
Also present was YSM Adminsitrative Council member Datuk Adeline Leong.