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Last Vietnamese Javan rhino killed by poachers

The last known Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam is believed to be dead. Experts had been tracking its feces with specially-trained dogs, but have found no new droppings or fresh tracks, according to Newser.com. They suspect that poachers killed it for its horn. The publication reports that seven ounces of crushed rhino horn can sell for around $2,150.

Prior to 1988, the Javan rhinoceros was believed to have been extinct on the Asian mainland, but a small population was discovered in Vietnam and animal rights activists and wildlife conservationists worked hard to save animals in the area, according to The Guardian. Unfortunately, they could not stop poachers from hunting the wild beasts for their horns and the population dwindled.

"Vietnam must see this loss as another warning sign of its looming wave of species extinctions," Dr. Barney Long, the World Wildlife Federation's Asian species expert, said in a statement, according to CNN. "The single most important action that is needed to save remaining threatened species like tigers and elephants is protection."

The species as a whole is not extinct as there still a few dozen living in Indonesia, but WWF officials say that reintroducing the species to Vietnam would be economically impractical.
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