Indonesia Welcomes Second Sumatran Rhino Calf In Breeding Programme
On Saturday (25 Nov), Indonesia announced the birth of a Sumatran rhino calf, the second so far this year.
Part of a critically endangered species with less than 30 mature animals left in its population, the calf was a welcome addition.
Part of a semi-natural breeding programme at a local sanctuary, the calf’s birth signals Indonesia’s commitment to conservation efforts.
Sumatran rhino gives birth to calf in Indonesia
According to CBS News, a female rhino, Delilah, gave birth to a 55-pound male calf at a sanctuary for Sumatran rhinos at Way Kambas National Park.
A conservation guard came across her with the newborn calf on the morning of 26 Nov, 10 days before her predicted due date.
The calf’s father is a male named Harapan, born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2006.
He was also the last Sumatran rhino in the world to be repatriated to Indonesia. Now, the entire population of Sumatran rhinos, which reportedly numbers less than 50, lives in the country.
A statement from Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry said that Delilah and the calf are in good condition. The young rhino is currently able to stand upright and walk, and could even “breastfeed in a standing position” not long after the guard discovered him.
Fifth calf born in sanctuary
Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry added that the calf marked the second such birth of a Sumatran rhino in 2023.
“It emphasises the commitment of the Indonesian Government to the rhino conservation efforts in Indonesia, especially the Sumatran rhino,” the ministry said.
The calf is the fifth one born at the Way Kambas sanctuary, as a result of semi-natural breeding efforts.
It also marks Delilah’s first successful delivery. Delilah herself was born at an Indonesian sanctuary in 2016, AP News reports.
Her mother, Ratu, also gave birth to a male, Andatu, in 2012. He was the first rhino born in captivity in Indonesia in 124 years.
Part of critically endangered species
Legally protected in Indonesia, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies Sumatran rhinos as critically endangered.
There are only about 30 mature animals remaining in its population, which is on a decline.
The destruction of their forest habitat and poaching both pose a threat to them, with their horns prized for ornaments and traditional Chinese medicine.
Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry thus described the birth of the calf as one that encourages the continuation in efforts to preserve the Sumatran rhino.
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Featured image adapted from AP News.
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