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How rare rhino's remains could help his endangered brethren

Cincinnati Museum Center

When one of the Cincinnati Zoo's Sumatran rhinos died last year, his remains were given to the Museum Center. Friday the Museum Center is unveiling a mounted display of "Ipuh."

Ipuh came to the Cincinnati Zoo in 1991 as part of a captive breeding program between the United States and Indonesia. He was one of the last Sumatran rhinos taken from the wild and was believed to be around 33 years old when he died.

Researchers from the Zoo, the Museum Center, and Children's Hospital are now sequencing the rhino's DNA in order to learn more about the highly endangered species.

Research Associate Herman Mays doubts the work will save the Sumatran rhino from extinction but says it's still important.

"What this allows this to do is have something left of them," says Mays. "Lots of animals went extinct in the 20th Century without us knowing basic things about them. If we can't preserve these species we have to preserve some knowledge about them so that people can look back and gain some knowledge about biodiversity from these things and also as kind of a cautionary tale."

There are only about 100 Sumatran Rhinos left in the wild. During his lifetime, Ipuh sired three calves.

Bonus Fun Fact:

A group of rhinos is called a "crash" of rhinos.

Find more animal herd names here.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.