Last week the International Rhino Foundation announced that Ratu, one of their Sumatran rhinos, had given birth to a female calf. The reason this is so special is because this is the second new calf to be born within this species in Indonesia in over 120 years!
It just so happens that Ratu, who lives on the Indonesia-based Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, also birthed the first calf that was born during this century. Her male calf Andatu was born in 2012.
Those working close with Ratu have said that becoming a mother has calmed the rhino down. Before the 14-year-old became a mother-of-two, she was feisty and quite difficult. Now she is attentive to her calves and calm enough that workers can enter her pen.
Ratu’s calves have brought hope for these large creatures. There are less than 100 Sumatran rhinos currently left roaming the Earth. The new calf has raised the population of Sumatran rhinos on the Earth by 1%. Dr. Susie Ellis, the Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, has gone on record saying that,
“Sumatran rhinos are the most endangered large mammal on the planet, because of their rapid rate of decline. They were just declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia, and now exist only in Indonesia.”
They have become endangered due to poaching and the loss of their habitat due to agriculture and mining.