Working together to save the Sumatran rhino

Image of Sumatran rhino and calf.

With fewer than 80 left in the world, this species’ fate is at a tipping point. After decades of poaching and habitat loss, the few remaining Sumatran rhinos are separated into small populations, making it difficult to find mates. The species is Critically Endangered, meaning that it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. To reduce this risk, we’ve supported the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary for many years.

Image of Sumatran rhino.
A female Sumatran rhino at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia.

The Sanctuary is a place where individual rhinos are brought together so that they can reproduce successfully, and two calves have been born: Andatu in 2012 and Delilah in 2016. Now, we’ve joined forces with more organisations to boost these efforts.

In their current fragmented and dispersed pockets across two Indonesian islands (Sumatra and Borneo), it is hard for Sumatran rhinos to find each other and reproduce successfully. Therefore, we need to bring even more rhinos together, moving them into semi-wild environments where the best care can be provided and the chances of breeding are higher. Increasing the population in this way is the key aim for Sumatran Rhino Rescue. We’re delighted to announce that we are a Strategic Partner within this project, contributing $100,000 towards this initiative to improve the future for Sumatran rhinos.

The funds will go towards the project’s three key activities:

  • Capacity Building: Establishing two new Sumatran Rhino Sanctuaries in Indonesia, one in Indonesian Borneo and the other in northern Sumatra, and expanding the existing facility in Way Kambas National Park
  • Search and Rescue: Undertaking search and rescue operations to move isolated Sumatran rhinos to managed conservation breeding facilities
  • Care and Protection: Incorporating rhinos into a single conservation breeding program that uses state-of-the-art veterinary and husbandry care designed to maximise population growth

Image of Sumatran rhino.Our collaboration is alongside two other Strategic Partners: the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Garden, Stuttgart. The initiative is led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission, in coordination with Global Wildlife Conservation, International Rhino Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and WWF and supported by partners on the ground in Indonesia.

With the help of local organisations, the alliance has already successfully rescued and relocated a female rhino named Pahu in December. We are hopeful that the Sumatran rhino species can thrive, but we must act now to make a difference. Thank you for helping us support this project to secure a lasting future for Sumatran rhinos!

Find out more about the alliance here:

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