Most of conservationists would role their eyes, if not with ‘how can you ask question like that?’ look, when I asked the plain question : why do we need to save (protect) rhinos (or orangutans or elephants or tigers).

On my defense, it is not my capacity to provide such argument to the readers. I am simply the news carrier. Plus, it would be awesome to get great quotes from experts to at least bring awareness about animals and plants into public sphere.

One of the arguments is that these animals are nature’s indicators. If they’re gone, you’d be damn sure, humans too. Okay, I exaggerate that. I mean if they’re extinct, it would be the indicators that the state of forest is decreasing, which also means that humans will lose their source of food and livelihood. In addition, floods, landslides, drought, famine, and pollution. Bottom line, no one would argue that forest is not important but they often neglect that not only humans live off of forests.

Najaq’s case is one of the kind. Particularly, because the ten year old female Sumatran rhino has been deemed as extinct in Borneo island. Then, 40 years later, they made special appearances, exactly 15 of them (minus one after Najaq’s death), which sent out media frenzy all over the world.


When she died, it had also attracted media hysteria all over the world. The news about Najaq’s death was actually topping the news about the discovery. Bad news is good news.

But, it is not all doom and gloom because you got to protect the remaining 14 rhinos from meeting the same fate.Move on, people!

For my own convenient, I made up a personal list when covering Najaq’s story :

  1. Sumatran rhinos showed up again in Kalimantan after 40 years. It can mean that they’re willing to interact or they’re losing their habitat. I opt the latter.
  2. From 15 rhinos identified in Kalimantan, mostly females.
  3. But, there are young rhinos which mean there’re males and they can somehow reproduce in their habitat. YAY!
  4. Najaq was ten years old meaning that she was suitable for mating. So, there goes one female to mate.
  5. Legend has it that local villagers used to eat rhinos’ meat or for ritual purposes. I suppose back then you ate almost anything that moves.
  6. No Sumatran rhinos in Malaysia’s borneo island. So, the pressure is in Indonesia.
  7. You do not tranquilize rhinos! They could drown in the mud and that would be one hell of a headline…
  8. They use pit traps with mattress to create that safe landing. The team actually tested it. No words of injured volunteers so that would be a good to go operation.
  9. Najaq’s preliminary diagnosis is capture myopathy or shock disease. She was suspected of stressing out from trying to release her left rear leg from the snare. She escaped but the snare cut deep into her skin.
  10. Her remain will be preserved as proof to international world on the existence of Sumatran rhinos in Kalimantan. Well, I prefer living ones compare to dead ones.
  11. One of team members speaks rhinos! Seriously, this is the top information. Humans use rhinos language to lure and track them. Let’s just hope they don’t put it into writings to prevent hunters. The man’s identification will not be revealed for his safety reason and the rhinos’.
  12. The government is planning to built a sanctuary but confused on getting the money. Uhm.. Hello, Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio, can you help?!
  13. Red tape. Red tape. Red tape. As much as it’s overwhelming to learn that current government is more than pleased to cut bureaucracy, it would be great if it can be applied for biodiversity issues.
  14. To save the rhinos, they’d need official letter. To set up patrol teams, they’d need official letter. It’s a good think they don’t have to consult the House.
  15. Immigration confiscated equipment of a rhino expert which would be used to conduct autopsy. I suppose the immigration officers were not aware that the country has Sumatran rhino. Another argument to save them! [Fidelis E. Satriastanti].