New Hope For Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhino After New Calf Born At Indonesian Sanctuary

A male Sumatran rhino calf was born in Indonesia on Saturday!

The birth of a male Sumatran rhino calf in Indonesia serves as a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to preserve this critically endangered species. The newborn is the offspring of Harapan, a Sumatran rhino originally born at the Cincinnati Zoo in the United States.

Sumatran rhinos Source: Courtesy Of The Ministry Of Environment And Forestry

Harapan was one of just three Sumatran rhinos born at the zoo, and he became the last representative of his species in the western hemisphere before he was relocated.

Dr. Terri Roth, the director of the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife, highlighted the challenges and risks that accompanied Harapan's relocation to Indonesia. The process was lengthy and demanding, but it was undertaken with a dedicated commitment to the conservation of Sumatran rhinos.

"Although it took several years before Harapan achieved what he was sent to do, this birth of his first calf at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) confirms that we made the right decision. Our efforts and sacrifice were worth it, and the ultimate goal has been achieved," Roth added.

Harapan Sumatran rhinos Source: Courtesy Of The Ministry Of Environment And Forestry

The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary is located in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province. The recent press release from the International Rhino Foundation shared that the newborn is the second Sumatran rhino born at the sanctuary this year and is the first baby of Harapan.

His mom, Delilah, a rhino born in 2016, became a first-time parent with the birth of her calf. She was also the second calf ever born at the sanctuary. Now, with the new addition, there are 10 Sumatran rhinos living at the sanctuary.

This success is a testament to the breeding program's effectiveness, which has seen significant progress in recent years.

International Rhino Foundation Source: Courtesy Of The Ministry Of Environment And Forestry

Nina Fascione, the Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, is optimistic about the program. He shared, "Two years ago, there was only one captive Sumatran rhino pair in the world able to successfully produce offspring. Now there are three pairs—six rhinos—who are proven breeders."

"Those are much better odds for the long-term survival of this species," she added.
Fascione also mentioned that Delilah welcomed the calf into the world and began nursing it without any fuss or fanfare.

This event is crucial for the long-term survival of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino species, with fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild. It marks a positive step in the ongoing mission to secure the future of this endangered species.

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