In the wee morning hours of May 12, 2016, Ratu, a rare Sumatran rhino, gave birth to a healthy female calf at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park.
This is the second successful Sumatran rhino birth at the Sanctuary, with Ratu having her first calf, Andatu, in 2012. His father, Andalas, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001. The birth was attended by Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary veterinarians, keepers and a handful of international advisors.
“We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf and are cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation.
“She’s absolutely adorable, and we haven’t stopped smiling since the moment we were sure she was alive and healthy. While one birth does not save the species, it’s one more Sumatran rhino on Earth.”
The International Rhino Foundation established the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in 1997, and this second birth shows that the expertise exists in Indonesia to contribute to the Sumatran rhino population’s growth.
Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, with less than 100 individuals still surviving in small, fragmented pockets of tropical forest. Their habitat continues to be destroyed by palm oil production, and like all rhino species, Sumatran rhinos are under constant threat of being killed for their horns.
The International Rhino Foundation established the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in 1997, and operates Rhino Protection Units in two of the four remaining Sumatran rhino strongholds.
Ratu’s pregnancy was first announced on World Rhino Day 2015.
Source: International Rhino Foundation