The transformation of SOS Rhino Borneo to Borneo Rhino Alliance was made possible with a fundraising lunch held in Kota Kinabalu on 17 March 2009 at which over 30 organizations and individuals contributed. Then, Sime Darby Foundation generously supported BORA to the tune of about RM12 million from July 2009 until June 2016. Without that funding, BORA would not exist, the two female rhinos would not have been captured, and the species would already be extinct in Malaysia.
The funds not only sustained all of BORA’s staff but also allowed for the purchase of four 4-wheel drive vehicles, repair and maintenance of rhino and BORA staff facilities at Tabin, helped to build new staff accommodation, paid for medicines, health monitoring and care of the rhinos, hire of special helicopters to translocate Puntong and Iman from the forest, contributed towards costs of bringing rhino reproductive experts from Germany, Italy and Indonesia, meetings in Indonesia, and all BORA’s various operational costs.
Other funds during the same period came from Sabah Forestry Department, WWF-Germany, US Fish and Wildlife Service, WWF-Malaysia, Adilla Jamaludin and friends, and others. The Government of Sabah through Sabah Wildlife Department financed the cost of building a new, custom-designed “Borneo Rhino Sanctuary” facility to house the rhinos. Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Berline) and Avantea laboratories (Italy) have contributed their expertise in harvesting eggs and sperm form the rhinos, and the first attempts at in-vitro fertilization. Oil palm plantations near to Tabin Wildlife Reserve including KLK, Sabahmas Plantations and Tradewinds have contributed important in-kind help, notably road repair, fuel and vehicles.
BORA thanks staff of Sabah Wildlife Department (supervising governmental agency) and Sabah Forestry Department (land-owner) for the sustained and varied assistance. Other governmental institutions that have provided services and expertise include Agro-biotechnology Institute Malaysia, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Universiti Putra Malaysia, Department off Veterinary Services and Animal Industry and Sabah Foundation. Institute for Tropical Biology & Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and subsequently Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah have provided office space to BORA since 2009.
Contributors to Bora’s efforts to save the Sumatran rhino