On 30 September 2023, the Government of Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry announced the wonderful news that a new Sumatran rhino has been born! The female calf, who has not yet been named, is the fourth rhino to be born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas National Park, and the third baby for her mum, Ratu.
Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, shared, “This news is certainly happy news, not only for the Indonesian people but also the world. I give my highest appreciation to the parties involved in the birth of this Sumatran rhino. Hopefully, we can continue to receive happy news from the births of Sumatran rhinos and other protected animals in the future.”
Dr Jo Shaw, CEO of Save the Rhino International, says, “We’re delighted by this news, especially to hear that both Ratu and her new daughter are doing well under the care of the expert team at the SRS. We would like to congratulate the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the SRS staff, and our many partners in Indonesia and around the world.”
The new calf is the fourth Sumatran rhino born at the SRS and only the seventh to be conceived and born in captivity. Ratu has previously produced two calves at SRS (Andatu in 2012 and Delilah in 2016) and will be spending the coming days and weeks being well cared for by the onsite SRS team and bonding with her new calf in the Sanctuary. This latest birth follows that of Sedah Mirah, a female born to first-time mum Rosa, on 24 March 2022.
All images courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
A new female calf is an important moment for Sumatran rhino conservation yet reminds us of the alarming state of their population. Keeping Sumatran rhinos safe and bringing them together to breed is vital for their future.
Dr Shaw continued, “We’re thrilled with this positive development for the future of the species. With so few left and in small, isolated populations, Sumatran rhinos are in urgent trouble. Alongside our partners, we’re working to protect the last remaining animals and encourage breeding to build their numbers back up. It will take time, but it’s critical that we work together to do everything we can.”
Since the early 2000s, Save the Rhino International alongside our partner, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), has been helping to fund organisations and communities working around the clock to protect Sumatran rhinos, including Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI), Way Kambas National Park, the Indonesian Rhino Initiative (IRI) and Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Grants from Save the Rhino have helped to cover core running costs of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park and the Rhino Protection Units working to find and protect Sumatran rhinos in Indonesia. We have also contributed towards increasing the capacity of the Sanctuary, doubling the space available for current and future rhinos. The state-of-the-art breeding facility is a major achievement, and will be essential for this new calf and, we hope, others like her in the future.
“We’d like to congratulate the people of Indonesia and thank everyone involved, including the Government of Indonesia, YABI, the International Rhino Foundation, all Sumatran Rhino Rescue partners, and of course, the many members of the public that continue to support efforts to save Sumatran rhinos” said Dr Shaw.
We will continue to work alongside our colleagues around the world, and particularly our partner the International Rhino Foundation, to provide regular updates from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry about Ratu and her calf via our website and social media channels.