Rare Sumatran rhino pregnancy offers hope to species

February 2, 2012
'Andalas' the Sumatran rhino pictured in his quarantine cage upon arrival at the rhino sanctuary at Way Kambas National Park in Lampung, Indonesia, in February 2007. A Sumatran rhino which is 10-months pregnant to Andalas is receiving special medical care after suffering two miscarriages, a conservationist said Thursday, fuelling hope for the critically-endangered species.

A Sumatran rhino which is 10-months pregnant is receiving special medical care after suffering two miscarriages, a conservationist said Thursday, fuelling hope for the critically-endangered species.

The nine-year old rhino, named Ratu, is expected to give birth in July to only the fourth born in captivity and the first in Indonesia.

Her partner Andalas, born in the United States in 2001, was the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in over 112 years.

"We have given her special hormone treatments to lessen the risk of miscarriage. Thank God, it is working well and we hope she'll have a successful birth," Widodo Ramono from the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia told AFP.

"It will be the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in Indonesia," Ramono added.

The two-horned, hairy, forest-dwelling Sumatran rhinoceros is one of the most in the world, with only about 200 remaining in the wild -- about 180 in Indonesia and the rest in Malaysia.

Ratu and Andalas were paired in 2009 at a sanctuary in Way Kambas national park in Lampung, South Sumatra province, two years after Andalas was brought from the Cincinnati zoo for a breeding programme.

Poaching is one of the biggest killers of Sumatran , whose numbers have dropped more than 50 percent over the last 15 years. Their horns are reputed to have medicinal properties.

Andalas is the only remaining male Sumatran rhino at Way Kambas since Torgamba, another male, died last year. The sanctuary has three female Sumatran rhinos.

Explore further: Sumatran Rhino Seen in Borneo Jungles

Related Stories

Sumatran Rhino Seen in Borneo Jungles

September 9, 2006

(AP) -- Wildlife rangers have made the first-ever sighting of a Sumatran rhino deep in the jungles of Borneo, taking video and photos of a single male after a decade-long search, conservationists said Friday.

Rare Borneo rhino caught on camera in Malaysia

April 21, 2010

A rare Borneo rhino, thought to be pregnant, has been caught on camera in Malaysia, and wildlife experts said Wednesday a new calf would be a lifeline for the near-extinct species.

Elderly Malaysian rhino enlisted in breeding attempt

September 23, 2010

Malaysian wildlife officials on Borneo island said Thursday they will try to artificially inseminate an elderly female rhinoceros in a bid to revive one of the world's most endangered species.

Recommended for you

Research advances on transplant ward pathogen

August 28, 2015

The fungus Cryptococcus causes meningitis, a brain disease that kills about 1 million people each year—mainly those with impaired immune systems due to AIDS, cancer treatment or an organ transplant. It's difficult to treat ...

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Carolynh
not rated yet Feb 02, 2012
I hope that this is a success - awesome but sadly critically endangered species. Cool photos on an endangered species photo site called ARKive.org

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.