Endangered Sumatran rhino born in Indonesia

Mother and child: Ratu is seen with her newborn at Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary of Kambas National Park, Lampung. — Reuters

An endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, the smallest and hairiest of the five extant rhino species, was born in Indonesia last week in a conservation area, the government said.

Weighing about 27kg, the yet-to-be named female calf, was born on Saturday at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) facility in Way Kambas National Park, Lampung province in the tropical South-East Asian country.

Covered in black hair, the newborn stood about 45 minutes after her birth.

On the next day, she began to walk around the jungle, the environment ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The mother, 22-year-old Ratu, was in a healthy condition, the ministry said.

Ratu is a native of Lampung, while her mate, Andalas, aged 23, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, United States, but has since moved to the same park as Ratu.

The pair previously had Delilah in 2016 and Andatu in 2021.

“This is a happy news, not only for Indonesia but for the world,” environment minister Siti Nurbaya said in the statement.

“Hopefully, we can continue to get good news from the births of Sumatran rhinos and other protected animals in the future.”

It comes slightly over a year after the birth of another female calf in March 2022.

There were just 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, based on a 2019 assessment of threatened species by the Indonesian government.

The mammal is the only Asian rhino with two horns and can grow up to 1.5m-tall, weighing between 500kg to 960kg. — Agencies

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