Breaking News : Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino gives rare birth to healthy male baby

Tuesday, 26 June 2012 | 3427

A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros gave birth Saturday at an Indonesian sanctuary, - in the Way Kambas National Park in Lampung, Sumatra, - following just three other in-captivity births over the past century, a conservationist said.

“Ratu gave birth to a male baby at 12:45 a.m. on early Saturday morning, (23 June 2012).  Both the mother and the baby are all very well,” conservationist Widodo Ramono, who works at a sanctuary on the southern tip of Sumatra island, told AFP.

The last three in-captivity births for Sumatran rhinos took place in the United States at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.

One of those was a male named Andalas, born September 13, 2001.

He was raised in captivity and was recently brought to Indonesia to mate with Ratu, a female who grew up in the wild but wandered out of the forest and now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.

This is believed to be Ratu’s first full-term pregnancy, Konstant told AFP. She has already miscarried twice after prior attempts to breed in captivity.

Sumatran rhinos have suffered a 50 percent drop in population over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of tropical habitat.

There are now believed to be fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos alive. Most reside in isolated pockets in Southeast Asia.

The birth of the Sumatran Rhino is a rare gift in the 2012 International Year of the Rhino launched early June by Indonesia’s President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Agence France-Presse/ Jakarta Globe

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