Endangered rhino gives birth

2012-06-24 14:40
Ratu, an endangered Sumatran rhino. (AP)

Ratu, an endangered Sumatran rhino. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Rhinos under threat

2012-06-22 08:35

Watch this disturbing documentary that has been made to drive home the horror of the rhino poaching crisis which has reached alarming levels in South Africa. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENTWATCH

Jakarta - A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros was born on Saturday at an Indonesian sanctuary, only the fourth birth in captivity in more than a century, boosting survival hopes for the species, say conservationists.

"Ratu gave birth to a male baby at 00:45 on Saturday. Both the mother and the baby are all very well," conservationist Widodo Ramono, who works at a sanctuary on the southern tip of Sumatra island, told AFP.

The last three in-captivity births for Sumatran rhinos took place in the United States at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio. The father of the newborn, Andalas, was himself the first Sumatran rhino delivered in captivity in 112 years. He was born in September 2001, according to the zoo.

Before Andalas, the latest Sumatran rhino born in captivity was in the Calcutta Zoo in India in 1889, according the Rhino Resource Centre, a British reference website.

Andalas was brought to Indonesia to mate with Ratu, a female who grew up in the wild but wandered out of the forest and now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.

Sumatran rhinos have suffered a 50% drop in population numbers over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of tropical habitat.

Less than 200

There are now believed to be fewer than 200 alive. Most reside in isolated pockets in Southeast Asia.

"Thank God, we are very grateful that all the delivery process went smoothly and naturally. We actually made some emergency preparation in case that Ratu need(ed) a surgery in delivering the baby," Indonesia forestry ministry's spokesperson Masyhud said.

"It's really a big present for the Sumatran rhino breeding efforts as we know that this is a very rare species which have some difficulties in their reproduction," the ministry's spokesperson said.

Solitary and aggressive, the rhinos are rarely sighted in the wild and avoid even other members of their species except when females are ready to mate.

"This is the first birth of a Sumatran rhino at a sanctuary in Indonesia," he told AFP.

"Soon after the delivery, the mother began breastfeeding the baby," he added.

The US-based International Rhino Foundation executive director Susie Ellis said in a press release, published on Friday before the birth, that a veterinary team would immediately harvest placental cells that can be used to generate stem cells.

Stem cells

Stem cells have the potential to be useful for many purposes in the near future, including curing diseases and helping promote reproduction, it said.

The head veterinarian Dedi Candra had closely monitored Ratu's pregnancy by weighing her weekly and conducting regular ultrasound exams, the release also said.

Ratu and Andalas were paired in 2009 at the sanctuary, two years after Andalas was brought from the Cincinnati zoo for a breeding programme.

The 12-year-old lost her first pregnancy after two months and her second after less than a month. She gave birth after a 16-month pregnancy.

Poaching is one of the biggest killers of Sumatran rhinos, whose horns are reputed to have medicinal properties.

Destruction of habitat

But rhinos have also suffered from the destruction of their habitat. According to environmentalists, two million hectares of forests are lost every year in Indonesia.

Andalas is the only remaining male Sumatran rhino at the Way Kambas sanctuary since Torgamba, another male, died last year. The sanctuary has three female Sumatran rhinos.

Besides the Sumatran rhino, Indonesia is also the last refuge to the critically endangered Javan rhino, which conservationists believe number only 44, located in the Ujung Kulon National Park on the western-most tip of Java.

- SAPA
Read more on:    indonesia  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.