A baby Sumatran rhinoceros was born in Indonesia, contributing to a critically endangered species with a population of less than 50 individuals.

On Saturday, in Indonesia’s western island of Sumatra, a Sumatran rhino that is classified as critically endangered, was born, making it the second one to be born in the country this year. This is a positive development for the species, which currently has less than 50 animals remaining.

Delilah, a female, delivered a male calf weighing 25 kilograms (55 pounds) at a sanctuary for Sumatran rhinos located in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province, which is situated at the southern end of Sumatra island.

Harapan, a male born in 2006 at the Cincinnati Zoo, is the father of the calf. He holds the distinction of being the final Sumatran rhino to be returned to Indonesia, making Indonesia the sole home of the entire Sumatran rhino population.

The majority of the remaining rhinos reside in Sumatra, with a few living in captivity. Their biggest threats are the destruction of their tropical forest homes and poaching for their horns, which are valued for decorative purposes and traditional medicine in China and other regions of Asia.

Minister of Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, Siti Nurbaya Bakar, stated in a written announcement that the second Sumatran rhino born in 2023 highlights the Indonesian government’s dedication to conservation efforts for the species, particularly in Indonesia.

She stated that, as a result of the partially natural breeding attempts, there were five live births of Sumatran rhinos at the Way Kambas sanctuary.

On Saturday morning, a conservation guard discovered Delilah with a newborn male calf beside her, 10 days earlier than originally predicted.

Delilah and her newborn are both doing well, as the calf is now capable of standing and walking. According to a statement from Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, shortly after being found, the calf was able to nurse while standing.

Indonesia has laws in place to protect the Sumatran rhino. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Sumatran rhinos are classified as critically endangered due to a decreasing population and an estimated 30 mature individuals remaining.

The unnamed calf is the first successful birth from Delilah.

In 2016, Delilah, a female who was 7 years old, was born at a sanctuary in Indonesia.

The second calf, named Andatu, was born to Ratu who had previously given birth to the first rhino, Andalas, in captivity in Indonesia after 124 years. Andalas himself was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001.

A female Sumatran rhino named Ratu, who is 23 years old, gave birth to another female rhino at the Lampung sanctuary in September. The WWF conservation group reports that the average lifespan of a Sumatran rhino is 35-40 years.

Source: wral.com