Rare Sumatran rhino born in Indonesia

2016-05-12 20:02
One day old male baby Sumatran rhinoceros named Andatu walking beside her mother Ratu at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. (Indonesian Ministry of Forestry,  AFP)

One day old male baby Sumatran rhinoceros named Andatu walking beside her mother Ratu at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung located in Indonesia's Sumatra island. (Indonesian Ministry of Forestry, AFP)

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

Jakarta - A Sumatran rhino gave birth to a female calf at a sanctuary in Indonesia on Thursday, taking the critically endangered species a step further away from extinction.

The baby was born at 05:40 on western Sumatra island, and within hours was walking around and feeding from its mother, authorities said.

It was the second baby born to rhino Ratu. Her previous birth four years ago marked the first time a Sumatran rhino had been born in an Asian breeding facility for more than 140 years.

The new calf and Ratu, whose name means "Queen" in Indonesian, were both in good health although the mother looked "exhausted", the government said.

"We are very thankful for this birth, as Sumatran rhinos are rare animals," environment ministry spokesman Novrizal Tahar told AFP.

Ratu was observed stretching in her maternity pen in recent days, a signal her long-anticipated delivery was nearing.

The birth took around two hours. Just two hours after being born, the calf - which has not yet been named - began walking and feeding, according a statement from the forestry ministry.

The birth "demonstrates the government of Indonesia's commitment, in cooperation with the Indonesian Rhino Foundation, towards rhino conservation efforts in Indonesia," it added.

Under threat

Sumatran rhinos are extremely rare, with just 100 believed to exist in the world. The birth is a major boon for the species, which last year was declared extinct in Malaysia.

Ratu, a wild rhino who wandered out of the rainforest and into the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park a decade ago, had become pregnant after meeting with Andalas, a male rhino at the park.

Ratu's first baby, Andatu, was born at the sanctuary in 2012.

Births of Sumatran rhinos in captivity are rare. Thursday's birth was only the fifth of a Sumatran rhino in a breeding facility.

Despite being the smallest of the five remaining rhino species, Sumatran rhinos have very long pregnancies that last about 16 months.

Harapan - the brother of Andalas - was transferred from the United States to the Sumatran sanctuary last November in the hope he would find a mate.

In March, environmentalists made physical contact with a Sumatran rhino on the Indonesian part of Borneo island for the first time in 40 years, but it died a month later.

Covered in woolly hair ranging from reddish brown to black in colour, Sumatran rhinos are the only Asian rhinoceroses with two horns.

While Javan rhinos are considered the world's rarest, Sumatran rhinos are under increasing threat.

They are targeted by poachers as their horns and other body parts fetch high prices on the black market for use in traditional Chinese medicine.

In addition, their rainforest habitat on Sumatra island is being destroyed due to the rapid expansion of palm oil and pulp and paper plantations.

Read more on:    indonesia  |  conservation  |  animals

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.