March 2, 2024

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The endangered Sumatran rhinoceros gives birth to a new calf

A Sumatran rhinoceros was born in Indonesia on Saturday, the latest calf to support an endangered species that has fewer than 50 living members.

The male calf, born to a mother named Delilah, is the second of the species born this year – both within the past two months – at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, on the island of Sumatra in western Indonesia. It is part of a government-backed effort to preserve this endangered species. The male, who has not yet been named, was the fifth rhino born in the reserve since 2012.

Delilah gave birth alone 10 days before her due date. The Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry said in a statement that the woman went into labor during the night and was found by reserve workers in the forest with her calf four hours after she gave birth.

The International Rhino Foundation said the premature birth surprised shelter staff who found out about Delilah’s care on Saturday morning. The calf is standing, walking and nursing and weighs about 55 pounds, the department said. The mother and child are being monitored and are in good condition.

“Both are healthy and doing exactly what they should be doing: eating, resting and communicating,” said a statement from the foundation, which built the shelter in 1996 in cooperation with the Indonesian government and local groups.

The government said in a statement on Tuesday that Delilah, who was born in the reserve in 2016, is the first rhino mother to be born and give birth in the reserve. The International Rhino Foundation described it as an “important milestone for the breeding programme.” The group said that two years ago, only one pair of Sumatran rhinos in captivity was able to reproduce successfully; The shelter now has three pairs of successful breeders.

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Delilah mated with a male rhino named Harapan, who previously lived at the Cincinnati Zoo and was moved to the reserve in 2015 in hopes of breeding. It was the last Sumatran rhino to live outside Southeast Asia.

The ministry said Delilah became pregnant immediately after mating, a happy result after some breeding attempts among other rhinos ended in miscarriage. The International Rhino Foundation said this is also Harapan’s first success after eight years of trying.

Delilah was born on day 460 of pregnancy, 470 to 479 days earlier than usual. This was the second in two months: On September 30, a calf was born to a different set of parents at the shelter.

“Each of these births is the result of years of hard work, research and international cooperation – and represents our best hope of saving the Sumatran rhino from extinction,” the International Rhino Foundation said.

The type is about Critically endangered, the last step before extinction in the wild, it is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The group estimates that wild animal populations continue to decline, with at least 30 adults surviving.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest of the five rhino species, descended from the Ice Age woolly rhinoceros, and is the hairiest. However, they have the smallest number of the five species Java rhinoceros It also has less than 100 members.

The Sumatran rhinoceros has two horns, prominent skin folds, and a prehensile upper lip, according to the conservation group. Save the rhino. They are agile and fast runners and eat plants.

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Rhinos are currently found only in Indonesia, where their wild numbers are small and they struggle to reproduce, according to the association. World Wildlife Fund. The last surviving individual of this species in its native Malaysia died in 2019 at the age of 25, leading to the extinction of the species in that country.