What you need to know about the death of the rare Sumatran rhinoceros.

In late March 2016, World Wildlife Fund researchers celebrated the reappearance of the incredibly rare Sumatran rhino.

Image from International Rhino Foundation/WIkimedia Commons.


On March 12, 2016, a female Sumatran rhino was captured in a pit trap in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo. It was the first time in 40 years that one had been seen in the flesh.

The World Wildlife Fund called her story a "new hope."

Just one month later, the celebration ended abruptly when the captured Sumatran rhino, named Najaq, has died.


A leg infection seems to have been the cause of death, although a post-mortem is still being conducted as of this writing.

Though Najaq's death is sad, there is good news to share.

For a long time, it was thought there were no more Sumatran rhinos in Kalimantan. There were only a small population on the Malaysian side of the island (declared extinct in 2015), so many people thought these animals were just about gone forever.

But we were wrong. And that's very, very good.

Unlike its more sparsely coiffed cousins, the Sumatran rhino is covered in hair. Image from Ltshears/Wikimedia Commons.

Sumatran rhinos are one of the most endangered large animals on the planet. There are estimated to be fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild.

In fact, up until 2013, when a World Wildlife Fund team found rhino footprints in the jungle (and managed to photograph a Sumatran rhino via an automatic camera trap), the species was considered extinct in Kalimantan.

We now know that at least 15 Sumatran rhinos still exist in Borneo.

15 is not a lot, but for an animal thought to be gone, it's a remarkable number.

Even better — we know how save them.

Sumatran rhinos, like many species in Borneo, are threatened by both poachers and habitat loss. They need the forests and jungles to survive, but many wild places are being destroyed to make room for mining, plantations, and logging operations.


This land was cleared for a palm oil plantation in Malaysian Borneo. Image from T. R. Shankar Raman/Wikimedia Commons.

By creating sanctuaries for these animals we can give them the homes they need to survive.

Sanctuaries like Way Kamblas National Park, for instance. Way Kamblas is a protected area in Sumatran Indonesia that is home to a number of Sumatran rhinos that are protected by their own anti-poaching squad.

A worker and Rosa the rhino, who was transported to Way Kamblas to help establish a breeding population. Image via Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images.

What's more, by supporting the use of sustainable palm oil (which is used in more products you every day than you can even imagine), which many companies are already doing, we can help protect the forests outside of these designated sanctuaries.

Najaq's death is sad, but we're being given an incredible opportunity to save a species once thought to be lost.

“We now have proof that a species once thought extinct in Kalimantan still roams the forests, and we will now strengthen our efforts to protect this extraordinary species,” said Dr. Efransjah, CEO of WWF-Indonesia, when they found Najaq in the pit trap.


Rosa the rhino in the Way Kambas Sanctuary. Image from Willem v Strien/Flickr.

Najaq may have died, but her life truly did give a new hope to the preservation of her species.

We have the opportunity. We know what to do. We just need to act.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 12.02.19


Just imagine being an 11-year-old boy who's been shuffled through the foster care system. No forever home. No forever family. No idea where you'll be living or who will take care of you in the near future.

Then, a loving couple takes you under their care and chooses to love you forever.

What could one be more thankful for?

That's why when a fifth grader at Deerfield Elementary School in Cedar Hills, Utah was asked by his substitute teacher what he's thankful for this Thanksgiving, he said finally being adopted by his two dads.

via OD Action / Twitter

To the child's shock, the teacher replied, "that's nothing to be thankful for," and then went on a rant in front of 30 students saying that "two men living together is a sin" and "homosexuality is wrong."

While the boy sat there embarrassed, three girls in the class stood up for him by walking out of the room to tell the principal. Shortly after, the substitute was then escorted out of the building.

While on her way out she scolded the boy, saying it was his fault she was removed.

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One of the boy's parents-to-be is Louis van Amstel, is a former dancer on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." "It's absolutely ridiculous and horrible what she did," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "We were livid. It's 2019 and this is a public school."

The boy told his parents-to-be he didn't speak up in the classroom because their final adoption hearing is December 19 and he didn't want to do anything that would interfere.

He had already been through two failed adoptions and didn't want it to happen again.

via Loren Javier / Flickr

A spokesperson for the Alpine School District didn't go into detail about the situation but praised the students who spoke out.

"Fellow students saw a need, and they were able to offer support," David Stephenson said. "It's awesome what happened as far as those girls coming forward."

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He also said that "appropriate action has been taken" with the substitute teacher.

"We are concerned about any reports of inappropriate behavior and take these matters very seriously," Kelly Services, the school the contracts out substitute teachers for the district, said in a statement. "We conduct business based on the highest standards of integrity, quality, and professional excellence. We're looking into this situation."

After the incident made the news, the soon-to-be adoptive parents' home was covered in paper hearts that said, "We love you" and "We support you."

Religion is supposed to make us better people.

But what have here is clearly a situation where a woman's judgement about what is good and right was clouded by bigoted dogma. She was more bothered by the idea of two men loving each other than the act of pure love they committed when choosing to adopt a child.