Critically endangered Sumatran rhino birth in Indonesia

Critically endangered Sumatran rhino birth in Indonesia

The Sumatran rhino born in western Indonesia over the weekend, a rare sanctuary birth for the critically endangered species.
The Sumatran rhino born in western Indonesia over the weekend, a rare sanctuary birth for the critically endangered species.

JAKARTA - A Sumatran rhino has been born in western Indonesia, officials said Monday, a rare sanctuary birth for the critically endangered animal, with only a few score believed left.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimate the population of Sumatran rhinos to number less than 80 on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

A female rhino named Delilah gave birth to a yet-to-be-named male calf weighing 25 kilogrammes (55 pounds) at Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra over the weekend, fathered by a rhino called Harapan.

It was the fifth calf born under a semi-wild breeding programme at the park, Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said in a statement.

The new addition to the Sumatran rhino herd at Way Kambas, which numbers 10, comes after another baby Sumatran rhino was born there in September.

"This birth is the second birth of the Sumatran Rhino in 2023. This further strengthens the government's commitment to Rhino conservation in Indonesia," she said.

A conservation guard found Delilah lying next to her newborn calf on Saturday, the ministry statement said.

Successful births are rare. A male rhino named Andatu, born in 2012 at Way Kambas, was the first Sumatran rhino birthed in an Indonesian sanctuary in more than 120 years.

IUCN classifies the Sumatran rhino, the smallest of all rhino species, as critically endangered.

Multiple threats have brought them to the brink of extinction, including poaching and climate change.

Rhino horn is often illegally used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Indonesia is also battling to save the critically endangered Javan rhino, with fewer than 80 alive today.

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