Researchers Make Contact With First Sumatran Rhinoceros in Over 40 Years
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
The Sumatran rhinoceros was believed to be extinct, that is until researchers found tracks from the mammal in 2013. Since then, the search has been on trying to find the elusive creature and this week researchers hit pay dirt.
On Tuesday, the World Wildlife Foundation said in a statement that a female Sumatran rhino was caught in Kalimantan, the Indonesia part of Borneo. This is the first time physical contact has been made with the species in the area in over 40 years. The rhino is estimated to be around four or five years old.
“This is an exciting discovery and a major conservation success,” said Dr Efransjah, CEO of WWF-Indonesia. “We now have proof that a species once thought extinct in Kalimantan still roams the forests, and we will now strengthen our efforts to protect this extraordinary species.”
They estimate there are only 100 of these rhinos left in the wild. Conservation efforts are being made as the rhino will be transferred to a “protected forest about 150 km from the capture site.” This site will become the second Sumatran rhino sanctuary in Indonesia. The statement said they’re aiming to bring at least three rhinos over to the sanctuary so they can be safe and start a breeding population.
Rhinos currently face extinction due to loss of habitat and poaching. However, Efransjah said, “WWF will work continuously with the Sumatran rhino conservation team for the protection of the Sumatran rhino population in Kalimantan.
“This unprecedented discovery and unparalleled operation boosts our hope to save one of the most endangered species and an iconic symbol of the majestic Asian rainforests.”