Javan rhinos may still exist in Vietnam

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Vietnamese scientists said that based on statistics, there might be some Javan rhinos left in Vietnam, according to a report in Saigon Tiep Thi on Friday.

The WWF, an international conservation organization, last month said that the Javan rhino was extinct, with the last member of the species having been shot by a poacher in 2010 in Cat Tien National Park. The statement was made following analysis of dung samples collected from 2009-2010.

However, the Saigon Tiep Thi report quoted Professor Dang Huy Huynh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment, as saying that statistics prior to 2009 suggested that there were between three and five Javan rhinos in Cat Tien Park.

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Only two skeletons of the rare species have been found in the park so far, one in 2010 and the other about 10 years ago, Huynh said, suggesting that the others might be in hiding.

Professor Le Xuan Canh, director of the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, also argued that it would take more time and further study to confirm WEF's research.

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