Rare Sumatran Rhino Gives Birth After 8 Miscarriages, Offering Hope For Conservation Efforts

Rosa, a Sumatran rhino, was brought to a sanctuary in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) network in 2004. She is one of just 80 of her kind left, according to the World Wildlife Fund. After eight unsuccessful pregnancies since her arrival at the sanctuary in 2004, wild-caught Rosa mated with Andatu, a male Sumatran rhino.

Teams at the sanctuary in Way Kamdas National Park, Indonesia went to great lengths to protect Rosa’s health during her latest pregnancy. Their efforts paid off immensely as on Thursday, March 24, Rosa delivered a healthy baby girl.

Rhino conservation group Save the Rhino International shared the news along 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, in Indonesia and we couldn’t be happier,” Save the Rhino International wrote on Facebook. “With fewer than 80 left, this adorable little rhino offers a ray of hope for the species’ future! Congratulations to the Government of Indonesia, YABI, the International Rhino Foundation, all Sumatran Rhino Rescue partners, and of course, the many organisations and members of the public that continue to support efforts to save Sumatran rhinos!”

The calf, whose name has not yet been announced, is only the sixth Sumatran rhino to be born in captivity. As with other species, poachers seeking rhino horns caused the decline of Sumatran rhinos. With such a small number remaining, the threat of extinction is increasing as the 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 experts decided in 2017 that 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 by the birth of the baby rhino.

Rosa and her calf will be closely monitored by staff, who are working with international veterinary consultants. The SRS, which normally can be toured by appointment, is closed to visitors right now so mom and baby can bond.

Sumatran rhino
Adobe

“We’ve been holding our breath since finding out Rosa was pregnant,” Cathy Dean, CEO of Save the Rhino International, said in a statement. “Rhino pregnancies aren’t easy, so it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate this birth and know that there’s one more Sumatran rhino in the world. However, the fact that we are so excited about the birth of one rhino highlights that these wonderful animals still teeter on the edge of extinction. But today’s news brings us hope for their future.”