Rare Sumatran rhino gives birth after 8 miscarriages, offering hope for conservation efforts
Rosa, a Sumatran rhino, was brought to a Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) network sanctuary in 2004. She is one of 80 remaining of her species, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. After eight unsuccessful pregnancies since arriving at the sanctuary in 2004, wild-caught Rosa mated with Andatu, a male Sumatran rhino.
Teams at the sanctuary of Way Kamdas National Park in Indonesia went to great lengths to protect Rosa’s health during her last pregnancy. Their efforts have paid off immensely since on Thursday, March 24, Rosa gave birth to a healthy baby girl.
Rhino conservation group Save the Rhino International shared the news with some adorable photos on Facebook.
“Exciting news alert! A Sumatran rhino has been born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia and we couldn’t be happier,” Save the Rhino International wrote on Facebook. 80 survivors, this adorable little rhino offers a glimmer of hope for the future of the species! Congratulations to the Indonesian government, YABI, the International Rhino Foundation, all partners of Sumatran Rhino Rescue and, of course, to the many organizations and members of the public who continue to support efforts to save Sumatran rhinos!
The calf, whose name has not yet been announced, is only the sixth Sumatran rhinoceros to be born in captivity. As with other species, poachers in search of rhino horns have caused the decline of Sumatran rhinos. With such small numbers remaining, the threat of extinction increases as rhinos struggle to meet and breed in the wild. Meanwhile, they continue to lose their natural habitats to human encroachment.
This birth is so important because the experts have decided in 2017, captive breeding of rhinos was the only way to save the species. Conservationists working to bring the species back from the brink of extinction are excited about the birth of the baby rhino.
Rosa and her calf will be closely monitored by staff, who work with international veterinary consultants. The SRS, which can normally be visited by appointment, is currently closed to visitors so mum and baby can bond.
“We’ve been holding our breath since Rosa became pregnant,” said Cathy Dean, CEO of Save the Rhino International, said in a press release. “Rhino pregnancies are not easy, so it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate this birth and know that there is one more Sumatran rhino in the world. However, the fact that we are so excited about the birth of a rhino shows that these wonderful animals are still on the brink of extinction. But today’s news gives us hope for their future.