Endangered Species Of Sumatran Rhino Born In Captive Breeding Centre
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The birth of a rare species of rhinoceros has been reported in a captive-breeding program aimed at saving critically endangered species.
The calf is of the Sumatran rhino species that was born in the Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra’s Lampung Province.
And to make the news even better, it’s a girl - meaning that hopes of more newborns in the future have been rekindled!
There have been intensive efforts to breed the species since the 1980s, with this newborn calf only the third Sumatran Rhino born at the sanctuary, and sixth since those efforts began.
Selamat pagi #SobatHijau, inilah anak pertama Rosa yang lahir pada tanggal 24 Maret 2022, di Taman Nasional Way Kambas (TNWK). Perlu perjuangan panjang untuk proses kelahirannya ini. #KLHK #konservasi #satwakita #badak #badaksumatera #saverhino #teamrhino pic.twitter.com/yleWMbRoFM— Kementerian LHK (@KementerianLHK) March 29, 2022
In a press release from Indonesia’s environment ministry, the Director-General of the conservation, Wiranto, praised the achievement.
He said: “The birth of this Sumatran rhino is such exciting news amidst the efforts by Indonesian government and partners to increase the population of the Sumatran rhinos.”
The birth of the calf was the result of a marriage between the male Andatu, and the female Rosa.
Andatu, the calf’s father, was the first rhino born in the sanctuary in 2012; he too was born to two captive rhinos.
The mother, Rosa, was captured in 2005 from Sumatra’s Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and brought to the sanctuary.
Indonesia is the last habitat for the Sumatran rhino species, with eight captive rhinos in the Way Kambas National Park and one in the Kelian sanctuary in Indonesian Borneo.
It is believed that the wild population would include no more than 80 individual rhinos.
The species once inhabited South and Southeast Asia, across India, Southern China, and down to the Malay Peninsula, but has been devastated by poaching, habitat loss, and, until recently, insufficient births.
Experts decided in 2017 that captive breeding would be the only viable option to protect and preserve the species.
There had been a similar effort in 1980, however, that program proved unsuccessful when more than half of the animals had passed without giving birth to any calves.
The low rate of natural breeding had become a concern under the program at Way Kambas, with Rosa miscarrying eight pregnancies between 2017 and 2022.
However, Wiranto believes this is a promising sign for things to come.
He said: “With the birth of Rosa’s rhino calf at the Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, we hope this puts a new hope for us to continue hearing great news of more Sumatran rhino newborns in the future.”
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Kementerian LHK