Rare Sumatran rhino gives birth after eight miscarriages at Indonesian sanctuary

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A rare rhino has finally given birth to a healthy calf at an Indonesian sanctuary after suffering a total of eight miscarriages spanning 17 years, bringing new hope to the species on the brink of extinction.

Stunning footage shows how sanctuary workers helped ensure the calf was safe and healthy immediately after birth, before allowing Rosa to spend time with her newborn.

Moments later, the mother was seen pushing his calf to his feet as he began to take his first wobbly steps as shrine workers looked on in delight.

Rosa is a Sumatran rhinoceros, a critically endangered species of which there are less than 80 specimens worldwide, according to WWF estimates.

She first became pregnant in 2005 as part of a breeding program designed to boost the species’ numbers, but after losing eight consecutive calves, the sanctuary had little hope of her becoming a mother. .

But the birth of her calf last week at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park (SRS) in Indonesia’s Lampung province brings new hope that the species will survive.

Successful births are rare. The calf’s father, named Andatu, was the first Sumatran rhino born in a sanctuary in more than 120 years. The calf has not yet been named

Stunning footage shows how sanctuary workers helped ensure the calf was safe and healthy immediately after birth, before allowing Rosa to spend time with her newborn

Stunning footage shows how sanctuary workers helped ensure the calf was safe and healthy immediately after birth, before allowing Rosa to spend time with her newborn

Rosa is a Sumatran rhinoceros, a critically endangered species of which there are less than 80 specimens worldwide, according to WWF estimates

Rosa is a Sumatran rhinoceros, a critically endangered species of which there are less than 80 specimens worldwide, according to WWF estimates

Moments later, the mother was seen pushing his calf to his feet as he began to take his first wobbly steps as shrine workers looked on in delight.

Moments later, the mother was seen pushing his calf to his feet as he began to take his first wobbly steps as shrine workers looked on in delight.

“The birth of the Sumatran rhino is good news as part of the efforts of the Indonesian government and its partners to increase the population of Sumatran rhino,” said Wiratno, director general of natural resources and ecosystem conservation at the ministry. of Environment and Forests (MOEF). in a report.

“My deepest gratitude for the work of the team of veterinarians and caretakers who have continuously followed the evolution of the pregnancy and postnatal care of the Rosa rhinoceros.

“The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary is the only place where the Sumatran rhino can reproduce naturally with the support of technology and the collaboration of expertise, both inside and outside the country,” said said Wiratno.

“The SRS seeks to produce as many young Sumatran rhinos as possible under safe conditions to maintain the survival of the Sumatran rhino species that is now threatened with extinction.”

The birth of Rosa’s calf brings the total number of Sumatran rhinos in captivity in Indonesia to eight – the rest of the critically endangered animals reside in the wild, mostly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

The International Rhino Federation (IRF) agrees with WWF’s estimate that there are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left alive today, and said news of Rosa’s newborn should be welcomed as a “momentous occasion”.

Sumatran rhinos are generally expected to live for around 40 years, but the IRF believes the species will be extinct within a few decades without human intervention and protected breeding programs.

“Rosa’s pregnancy represents new hope for this critically endangered species,” Nina Fascione, IRF’s executive director, said in a statement.

‘This is a momentous occasion for a critically endangered species. We share the excitement of this birth with the world!’

Successful births of Sumatran rhinos are rare.

The calf’s father, named Andatu, was the first Sumatran rhino born in a sanctuary in more than 120 years.

Multiple threats have brought the species to the brink of extinction, including climate change and poaching – rhino horn is often traded illegally for traditional Chinese medicine.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest of the world’s five rhinoceros species, weighing around 1,540–1,760 pounds (700–800 kg), and it generally remains solitary except for mating and rearing its offspring.

In the moments after the birth, Rosa waited patiently as sanctuary workers checked on the newborn and wiped it down before heading to

In the moments after the birth, Rosa waited patiently as sanctuary workers checked on the newborn and wiped it down before heading to

The birth of Rosa's calf brings the total number of Sumatran rhinos in captivity in Indonesia to eight - the rest of the critically endangered animals reside in the wild, mostly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo

The birth of Rosa’s calf brings the total number of Sumatran rhinos in captivity in Indonesia to eight – the rest of the critically endangered animals reside in the wild, mostly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo

“Rosa’s pregnancy represents new hope for this critically endangered species,” Nina Fascione, IRF’s executive director, said in a statement.

The species once had a wide range in Southeast Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas to Borneo and Sumatra, but in recent years the population has been decimated, with numbers dropping by around 70%. over the past two decades.

In April last year, researchers said the few remaining Sumatran rhinos they had managed to study had surprisingly good genetic health and surprisingly low levels of inbreeding, giving more hope that the species could to survive.

“With such small population sizes, we expected much higher inbreeding in existing Sumatran rhino populations. So these findings were good news for us,” said Nicolas Dussex, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Paleogenetics in Sweden, who helped lead the study published in the journal Nature Communications.

“Our results suggest that it may not be too late to find ways to preserve the genetic diversity of the species,” Dussex said.

Indonesia is also racing to save another critically endangered species, the Javan rhino.

Once numbered in the thousands across Southeast Asia, fewer than 80 are alive today, mostly in a national park on the main island of Java in Indonesia.

Efforts to conserve the species have yielded promising results with the birth of five calves in Ujung Kulon National Park last year.

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