Excitement is rising at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary of the Way Kambas National Park in Lampung, as the female Sumatran Rhino called Ratu or “Queen” is expected to give birth to a Baby Rhino either at the end of this month or in the first week of July 2012.
Ratu has been placed in a special area where she is constantly attended to by both Indonesian and international vets to ensure the safe and healthy delivery of the young rhino. “Ratu has been expecting for around 15 months now, and we hope that this will be a natural birth” said Dadan Subrata, PR of the Indonesian Rhino Institute, as reported by Kompas. Checks on Ratu’s physical and mental health and that of the baby have been increased from one to twice a week to once in three days.
On World Environment Day, 5 June 2012, Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono declared 2012 International Rhino Year to save this gentle beast from extinction worldwide Indonesia was chosen as the place for the announcement since Indonesia meticulously protects its two species, namely the one-horned Javan Rhino (badak Jawa) whose habitat is protected at the neighbouring Ujung Kulon National Park on Java, and the Sumatran Rhino which are found in the Way Kambas National Park and the extensive Leuser National Park. There are an estimated 200 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild, with only about 50 Javan rhinos remaining in Ujung Kulon.
Rhinos are hunted and poached for its horn, believed by people in China ro have special medicinal properties. Rhino horns therefore fetch their weight in gold. The expected birth of a rhino has brought excitement around the globe as this brings hope to the continuation of the rhino population.
photo courtesy : http://www.rhinoconservation.org
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