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Unlike most Sumatran rhinos, Rosa, a young female, exhibits none of the shy, solitary behavior normally associated with her species. Beginning in late 2003, Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) working in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park began receiving reports from local villagers that a young Sumatran rhino had frequently been observed walking along one of the main roads crisscrossing the park and browsing for vegetation in villages around the park boundaries.

Rosa somehow became used to being around humans, but unfortunately, this unique behavior put her in danger. After a number of serious discussions between the Indonesian authorities, park officials, veterinarians and rangers, it was finally decided that Rosa’s behavior continued to put her at too much risk and sometimes prevented the units from patrolling in other areas. She was then moved to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas National Park where she could be better protected. Rosa has adapted well to her life at the sanctuary, and still exhibits all of the behaviors that make her so unique. Because she is so habituated to humans, Rosa regularly takes long walks in the forest with sanctuary staff. She is a particularly loud rhino, and often vocalizes, especially when people are close by, or when her regular feeding time is approaching. Rosa also likes to “sing” when she is happily wallowing in her mud holes. Rosa is maturing as indicated by her behavior and regular ultrasonographic monitoring. The SRS vets, perform ultrasound exams on each female three times a week to help make decisions on when to put rhinos together for breeding. Sumatran rhinos can be aggressive so it is important to put the rhinos together at the right time. Several successful mating attempts have been observed since 2015. We are very hopeful that Rosa will soon conceive!