In Indonesia, on the island of Sumatra, a rare Sumatran rhino calf was born last Saturday. This little guy is the second one born in Indonesia this year, which is great news for a species with less than 50 left in the world.
Delilah, the mom, welcomed her 55-pound baby boy at a special home for these rhinos in Way Kambas National Park, right at the bottom of Sumatra island.
The dad is Harapan, who first saw the world at Cincinnati Zoo back in 2006. He’s pretty special too — he was the last Sumatran rhino to move back to Indonesia, so now all Sumatran rhinos are living in Indonesia.
Most of the few rhinos left call Sumatra home, with some in special care. Their biggest problems? People chopping down their forest homes and hunters after their horns for decorations and traditional medicine in places like China and other parts of Asia.
“This birth is also the birth of the second Sumatran rhino in 2023. It emphasizes the government commitment of the Indonesian Government on the rhino conservation efforts in Indonesia, especially the Sumatran rhino,” said Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, in her statement.
She mentioned that thanks to their special breeding program, they’ve had five Sumatran rhino babies at the Way Kambas home.
One morning, a conservation guard spotted Delilah with her new baby boy, who arrived 10 days earlier than expected.
Both Delilah and her little one are doing well. The baby can already stand and walk. Right after being found, he even started “nursing while standing up,” the Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry shared.
In Indonesia, Sumatran rhinos are fully protected by law. The IUCN Red List says they’re critically endangered: their numbers are dropping fast, with only about 30 grown-ups left.
This is Delilah’s first baby, and he still doesn’t have a name!
The birth “provides encouragement for all of us to continue to do our best to preserve the Sumatran rhino,” said the officials in their statement.
Delilah, now 7, first saw the world in an Indonesian sanctuary back in 2016. She’s the second baby of her mom, Ratu. Ratu also had a boy named Andatu in 2012, marking the first time in 124 years a rhino was born in captivity in Indonesia.
Andalas, the dad, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001. Sadly, in 2014, the only female Sumatran rhino at the Cincinnati Zoo passed away.
Back in September, Ratu, who is 23, had a baby girl rhino at the Lampung sanctuary.
In 2019, the last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia passed away from cancer, meaning these rhinos are now gone from there.
Sumatran rhinos are the tiniest rhinos still around and they’re the only ones in Asia with two horns, says the WWF conservation group. They’re pretty unique with their long hair, making them “more closely related to the extinct woolly rhinos” than any other rhino we have today.
Usually, Sumatran rhinos live between 35 and 40 years, the WWF notes.