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Miraculous birth marks a milestone in Sumatran Rhino conservation efforts

Conservation Triumph: Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary Welcomes Rare Birth. In a groundbreaking moment, Delilah, a Sumatran rhino, gives birth at Way Kambas National Park, signaling hope for the critically endangered species.

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INDONESIA – In a groundbreaking development for Sumatran rhino conservation, a baby male rhino was born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in the Way Kambas National Park (TNWK), East Lampung Regency, Lampung Province.

The newborn, a two-horned rhino, came into the world at 4:00 AM on Saturday (25 Nov), much to the delight of conservationists and the local community.

The proud mother, Delilah, is a Sumatran rhino also born in TNWK in 2016. The name was given by President Joko Widodo during the launch and designation of TNWK as an ASEAN Heritage Park.

TNWK wildlife officers evacuating a newly born male rhino and its mother. (Photo: the documentary of TNWK Document).

Delilah herself is a symbol of success for the conservation efforts. Delilah’s significance extends beyond her own birth; she is the offspring of the first-ever mating between a female and a rhino named Harapan (Hope).

Setyawan Pudyatmoko, Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) at KLHK, stated that Harapan, a male, was born in 2007 from the third mating of Emi and Ipuh at the Cincinnati Zoo, USA.

Harapan began residing in SRS TNWK in 2015. Harapan is also the last Sumatran rhino repatriated to Indonesia, indicating that currently, there are no more Sumatran rhinos outside of Indonesia.

Delilah’s recent delivery marks a momentous occasion, happening 10 days earlier than the estimated 470-day gestation period.

Setyawan, spokesperson for TNWK, reported, “According to the information we received, Delilah gave birth to a male calf unexpectedly at around 4:00 AM on Saturday (25 Nov), on her 460th day of pregnancy. By 8:19 AM, Delilah and her newborn were discovered in the forest by the TNWK wildlife keepers.”

The birth is a significant step forward for Sumatran rhino conservation, particularly within TNWK.

The sanctuary has previously successfully welcomed five Sumatran rhinos, with this being the second birth in 2023 alone. The five born earlier are Andatu (2012), Delilah (2016), Sedah Mirah (2022), the third offspring of Ratu-Andalas (September 30, 2023), and Delilah-Harapan’s offspring (November 25, 2023).

Sumatran rhinos, scientifically known as Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, are one of the world’s five rhino species and are native to the forests of Indonesia, specifically Sumatra and Kalimantan. The species is further divided into three subspecies, each with its distinct range.

  1. Western Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis sumatrensis), distribution: Thailand,  Malaysia, Indonesia.
  2. Eastern Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni), distribution: Kalimantan.
  3. Northern Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis), distribution: Burma to eastern Pakistan.

The existence of Sumatran rhinos is under severe threat due to poaching for their horns, believed to have specific health benefits, is a misguided notion. No studies have proven the medicinal efficacy of rhino horns.

Furthermore, the narrowing of their habitats and land fragmentation due to human activities contribute to the continuous decline in the Sumatran rhino population. The Indonesian government has designated the Sumatran rhino as one of the 25 priority species for conservation.

As of now, Sumatran rhinos are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, indicating their imminent risk of extinction.

Despite international bans on the trade of Sumatran rhino horns, the population has dwindled to less than 300 individuals in the wild. Over the past two decades, their population has declined by as much as 50%.

The solitary nature of Sumatran rhinos and their scattered small groups contribute to the ongoing decline in their population. Industrial activities such as mining and logging, along with road construction, further limit their already shrinking habitats.

Sumatran rhinos primarily inhabit primary and secondary forests at elevations of up to 2000 meters above sea level. Their diet and habitat requirements include access to sufficient food, water, and shelter, often leading them to lower-altitude areas for grazing.

(Photo: the documentary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry).

 

Initially, the Sumatran rhino was widely distributed across various locations, including Indonesia, the Malaysian Peninsula, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, and even China.

However, currently, this wildlife species can only be found in Indonesia and Malaysia. In Indonesia, specifically on the island of Sumatra, they inhabit Way Kambas National Park, Gunung Leuseur National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park, Bukit Barisan National Park, and other areas outside the national park zones.

Additionally, Sumatran rhinos are also present in Kalimantan and the Malaysian Peninsula. It is estimated that the total population dispersed across Sumatra is less than 200 individuals, with the rest located in Kalimantan and the Malaysian Peninsula.

The birth of the male calf in TNWK represents a ray of hope for the Sumatran rhino population.

Efforts to conserve this critically endangered species continue as stakeholders strive to ensure the well-being and safety of Delilah and her newborn, aiming for the restoration of Sumatran rhino populations in their natural habitat.

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sending them back from USA is a huge mistake isn’t it? both malaysia and indon have cocksucking relations to commie china, who genocide endangered wildlife like its nothing. commies who have the biggest market for “wild” food and TCM, illegal or not.

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