Although the IUCN has listed the Vietnamese Javan Rhino as critically endangered since 2008, experts believe this subspecies of the Javan rhinoceros is now extinct.
DNA analysis of rhino dung in Vietnam’s Cát Tiên National Park in 2009 confirmed that only one rhino lived in this area. Experts continued to monitor this 15-25 year old female until she was shot and killed in April 2010.
The last known Vietnamese rhino was found with her horn removed, evidence that she was killed by poachers.
“It is painful that despite significant investment in Vietnamese rhino conservation, efforts failed to save this unique animal,” WWF’s Vietnam director Tran Thi Minh Hien told the BBC. “Vietnam has lost part of its natural heritage.”
Of the two other Javan rhino populations, the subspecies found in northeastern India and Bangladesh has already been declared extinct and the subspecies found on Java, Indonesia is critically endangered, with about 50 individuals.