The Government of Indonesia has announced the birth of a Sumatran rhino at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas National Park, Lampung Province on September 30, 2023. Minister of Environment and Forestry (LHK) Siti Nurbaya, announced that the female calf is healthy and being cared for by its mother, Ratu, who is also doing well after the delivery. This is the fourth calf born into the Indonesian conservation breeding program, increasing the number of rhinos at the SRS to nine.
“This news is certainly happy news, not only for the Indonesian people but also the world. I give my highest appreciation to the parties involved in the birth of this Sumatran rhino. Hopefully, we can continue to receive happy news from the births of Sumatran rhinos and other protected animals in the future,” said Minister Siti.
The International Rhino Foundation’s (IRF) executive director Nina Fascione was in Indonesia to celebrate the momentous birth. “I was with Ratu as she was going into labour and can’t tell you how exciting it is to know the baby was delivered safely and is healthy. Every rhino born at the SRS is critical to the future of this imperiled species. Congratulations to the Government of Indonesia and the skilled team at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, who worked overtime to ensure this successful birth.”
The Government of Indonesia’s Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), which is managed by the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (Yayasan Badak Indonesia, or YABI), whose veterinarians and animal care staff oversaw the entire birth process, as well as the postnatal health of the mother and calf.
“There are so many uncertainties about the status of wild Sumatran rhinos, but with this birth and the overall success of the SRS breeding program, there is clearly still hope for this species,” Fascione said.
“Not only are we implementing natural reproduction efforts, technological assistance is also needed to optimise the breeding of Sumatran rhinos. SRS TNWK plans to integrate the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) method for breeding Sumatran rhinos,” said YABI Executive Director, Jansen Manansang.
Sired by Andalas, this is Ratu’s and Andalas’ third calf together. Their first two calves were Andatu, born in 2012 and Delilah, born in 2016, who also live at the SRS. This calf is the fourth calf born to the SRS, just last year on March 24, 2022, first-time mom Rosa gave birth to Sedah Mirah, a female sumatran rhino.
“IRF would like to thank the government of Indonesia, YABI, and our partners and donors around the world for working together to save the Sumatran rhino for the sake of the ecosystem, and for future generations,” said Fascione. “This little rhino will be an incredible ambassador for the Government of Indonesia’s successful conservation breeding program, and essential for the future of this species. This birth is welcome news for us all!”
For more about the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), go to rhinos.org.