Sumatran rhinos are up there with some of nature’s rarest creatures. So, it’s come as great news that a sumatran rhino calf has been born at a sanctuary in Indonesia. It’s also pretty cute.
The new female calf was born at the Way Kambas National Park, Sumatra Island on May 12, with a wholesome birth weight of 20 kilograms (45 pounds).
“We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf and are cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF). “She’s absolutely adorable, and we haven’t stopped smiling since the moment we were sure she was alive and healthy. While one birth does not save the species, it’s one more Sumatran rhino on Earth.”
The 14-year-old mother, “Ratu,” whose name means “Queen” in Indonesian, appears to be doing well, although she required fairly extensive veterinarian attention in the weeks running up to the birth. Ratu also gave birth to a male rhino in 2012, making this the second sumatran rhino born at the IRF’s Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. The father of this new calf, Andalas, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo and transferred to the Indonesian sanctuary in 2007 with the hope he would breed.
The Sumatran rhino still remains critically endangered, with under 100 thought to exist in the wild. These remaining few individuals live small and fragmented populations, while becoming progressively more threatened through loss of forest habitat and poaching.
You can watch a video of the birth here. But be warned that the video is extremely, extremely graphic, so click at your own peril.