Very few Sumatran rhinos now remain. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 International Rhino Foundation
There are now fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos left on Earth, but exactly who or what is responsible ?
It's one of the most endangered species on the planet, yet despite much of the blame being placed on poachers, the truth is that these magnificent mammals have actually been on the brink of extinction for the better part of 10,000 years.
In a recent study, a multinational team of researchers sequenced the entire Sumatran rhino genome using samples taken from Ipuh - a male rhino who lived for decades at Cincinnati Zoo.
The team's findings indicated that the species may have been in trouble for a very long time, even as far back as the Pleistocene era - the period during which their population reached its peak.
As the Pleistocene came to a close however, their numbers plummeted, resulting in a meager population of as little as 700 individuals by around 9,000 years ago.
For whatever reason, their numbers never recovered and continued to decline until the present day.