Malaysia's last rhino died in November after years of failed breeding attempts.
All that’s left of the local species are some skin, eggs and tissue samples.
And scientists are using that, with experimental stem cell technology, to bring back the Malaysian Sumatran rhinoceros.
The process works by using cells from the dead rhinos to produce sperm and eggs.
That should yield test-tube babies that can be implanted into a living animal or a closely related species, like a horse.
It’s similar to the plan for the African northern white rhino, which has seen some success.
Japanese researchers have also grown teeth and organs such as pancreas and kidneys using embryonic stem cells from rats and mice in efforts to grow replacement human organs.
But scientists leading this research say it's still far from producing a whole new animal.
They warn that even if it did work, the animal's lack of genetic diversity could pose a threat to its long-term survival.
Indonesian scientist Arief Boediono is among those helping in Malaysia.
(SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Indonesia) VETERINARY AND IVF EXPERT ARIEF BOEDIONO SAYING:
"The research is not going to end, we will continue to work on it. I think there is an opportunity here, even if it does take five, 10, or 20 years, I don't know. But it has succeeded in animal labs, so that means there's a chance of success in Malaysia."
The Sumatran species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia in 2015.
The smallest among the world's rhinos, it had once roamed across Asia.
But hunting and forest clearance reduced its numbers to just 80 in neighboring Indonesia.
The last two rhinos, 25-year-old Iman, and 30-year-old Tam, died just six months apart in a nature reserve on Borneo island last year.
Efforts to get the pair to breed had failed.
For now, Iman’s hide will be preserved and put on display, alongside Tam, in a Borneo museum.