The Government of Indonesia has announced the birth of a male rhino at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas National Park. Born on 25 November to first-time mum Delilah (who was herself born at the Sanctuary in 2016), the calf is the second Sumatran rhino birth at the SRS within two months.
Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, announced the latest birth, sharing, “We are grateful for the fifth birth at [the] SRS… This further confirms the commitment of the Government in carrying out rhino conservation efforts in Indonesia, especially Sumatran rhino”.
The new rhino is not only Delilah’s first calf, but also the first offspring of Harapan, a male rhino born at Cincinnati Zoo in the US in 2007. Dr Jo Shaw, CEO of Save the Rhino International, highlighted, “The birth of a new rhino calf is always joyous, however, this is particularly wonderful news for Sumatran rhino conservation. Delilah’s first calf gives more hope and opportunity for the future of Sumatran rhinos, with three proven breeding pairs now living at the SRS. We would like to congratulate the Government of Indonesia and everyone involved, including Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI), the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), all our conservation partners, organisations and individuals, who continue to support vital efforts to save Sumatran rhinos.”
In 2016, Delilah was the second calf ever to be born at the SRS. Now, she is also the first captive-born Sumatran rhino to give birth, a significant milestone for the breeding programme. The programme aims to develop a viable captive population in semi-wild facilities, reintroducing rhinos back to the wild when possible.
In the future, it is hoped that Sumatran rhinos from the Sanctuary will be released to supplement the wild population. Satyawan Pudyatmoko, Indonesia’s Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation, added “The main goal [of the SRS] is to produce Sumatran rhinos to maintain the survival of the species, which is now threatened with extinction.”
Sumatran rhinos in the wild live in isolated fragments of forest in Sumatra and Borneo, rarely meeting to breed and so struggling to increase their numbers. At the SRS in Way Kambas, all rhinos are carefully protected and looked after by experts. The SRS team is closely monitoring Delilah and her calf in a safe enclosure and has shared that both rhinos are doing well. The day old calf already weighs approximately 25 kg and is standing and feeding from Delilah.
Since the early 2000s, Save the Rhino International and its partner organisations and supporters have helped to support the work of Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry and other organisations and communities that work around the clock to protect Sumatran rhinos, including YABI, Way Kambas National Park, the Indonesian Rhino Initiative and IRF.
“Alongside our partners, we’ll continue to support essential Sumatran rhino breeding and conservation efforts, aiming to overcome the huge challenges that this Critically endangered species faces,” said Dr Shaw.
We will work with our partners to bring you further regular updates from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry about Delilah and her calf via our website and social media channels.