Of all rhino species, Sumatran and Javan rhinos are the most Critically Endangered, with less than 100 individuals left of each. Both species are only found in Indonesia—Sumatran rhinos on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and Javan rhinos on Java—making their remaining populations highly vulnerable to disappearing completely in a natural disaster or other focused threat. This has left many greatly concerned about the future of Asia’s rhinos, but recently, some rare births have kindled sparks of hope for both species.
On September 30, the Indonesian government announced that a rare birth of a Sumatran rhino had occurred at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park. The calf is healthy and happily bonding with her mother, Ratu. This is the fourth calf born at this facility, raising its population of Sumatran rhinos to nine.
And on the island of Java, a Javan rhino was also born earlier this year in Ujung Kulon National Park. This calf was not born in a special facility, but rather out in the forests of the park; authorities first discovered the new calf on camera trap footage in the late summer.
This is the fourth calf of a Javan rhino named Kasih. The entirety of Earth’s remaining Javan rhinos live in Ujung Kulon, making any new births a very welcome event. Park staff and the Indonesian government are hopeful that more births will continue within the safety of the park.
The Rhino Recovery Fund is delighted to hear this incredible news for two very fragile rhino species, and we commend the dedication of the park staff, veterinarians, and government agencies that helped make these births possible. The RRF supports projects from the Leuser Conservation Forum and the International Rhino Foundation that help protect Sumatran and Javan rhinos, respectively, and will continue to aid their recovery however possible.