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    Conservationists Struggle to Save Sumatran Rhinos


    by NTDTelevision

    Habitat loss and poaching are threatening the survival of the Sumatran rhinoceros, the only haired rhino species in the world.

    Fewer than 300 are believed to be left in the wild, but the Indonesia Rhino Foundation is hoping to turn around the decline through research, education and breeding programs.

    The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, is home to five rhinos - two males and three females - which are part of an intensive breeding program aimed at boosting the rare animal's numbers.

    [Widomo Ramono, Director, Indonesian Rhino Foundation]: (Bahasa Indonesia,male)
    “To breed the rhino is very difficult, so for future development we will strengthen communication and relations between in-situ conservation or rhinos in the wild and ex-situ conservation or existing rhinos in the sanctuary.”

    The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary has been encouraged by the successes at Cincinnati Zoo, which bred the species in captivity and in 2007 sent rhino calf "Andalas" back to boost the species breeding program.

    Previously, the sanctuary only had a 30-year-old male rhino, Torgamba, whose productivity was less than Andalas'.

    [Widomo Ramono, Director, Indonesian Rhino Foundation]: (Bahasa Indonesia, male)
    "There are about 28 to 30 rhinos here in Way Kambas. Perhaps out of all of Indonesia's forests, Way Kambas is the last fortress for the Sumatran Rhino."

    Producing a new species of rhino is far from easy.

    [Dr. Andriansyah, SRS Veterinary Official]: (Bahasa Indonesia, probably male)
    "The main obstacle is the difficulty in monitoring the reproduction cycle of the female rhino.”

    Nine-year-old male "Andalas" and eight year-old female "Ratu" mated, resulting in a positive-pregnancy in February.

    But disappointment soon followed.