One of the most unique and endangered rhino species is the Sumatran. These hairy beasts are lesser in size than the rest of the rhinos, and in numbers. With only about 100 known individuals left, they seem to be on the fast track to extinction.
Yet, there is a glimmer of hope.
With such critically low numbers, every birth is a big deal. When it comes to mothers, the Sumatran Ratu is a star. Living in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia she gave birth in 2012, and is now expecting a second baby due in May.
This coincides with the recent return of Harapan, formerly from the Cincinnati Zoo, to the wild. In late 2015 he made the epic journey across the globe to the SRS, with the goal of eventually doing his part in perpetuating the species.
But perhaps what tops it all is this week’s discovery of 15 previously unknown individual Sumatrans.
In response to this news, the Indonesian government is quickly converting a former gold mine into a sanctuary for them. With hopes to safely transfer them, they will be guarded by a rhino protection unit just like the ones in place at the SRS, which have successfully staved off poaching for more than 7 years.