Hope as rare rhino is filmed
Jakarta - Hidden cameras have captured proof that Javan rhinos are breeding in Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park, the last redoubt of one of the world's most threatened mammals, conservationists said on Monday.
Footage of two adults with two calves was taken in November and December 2010 by cameras hidden in the jungle of the rhino sanctuary on the south-western tip of Java island, environmental group WWF said.
"This is fantastic news because before these camera trap images surfaced, only 12 other Javan rhino births were recorded in the past decade," WWF-Indonesia Ujung Kulon programme chief Adhi Hariyadi said.
"The population in Ujung Kulon represents the last real hope for the survival of a species that is on the brink of extinction."
The video clip show two females with their calves, one a female aged about a year and the other a younger male. They enter a small clearing in the jungle and appear to approach the hidden camera.
Environmentalists say there are only about 40 Javan rhinos left in the wild. Of five rhino species, three including the Javan are critically endangered, mainly due to the growing demand for rhino horn.
The horns are ground into powder and used in traditional Chinese medicine although they have no scientifically proven medicinal value.