Jajat Sudrajat became a member of the first Rhino Protection Units established to patrol Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP) in Java in 1998. UKNP is the last remaining habitat for the critically endangered Javan rhino, and thanks to the RPUs, there has not been a poaching incident in more than 20 years in the park.
Jajat continues a family legacy of protecting UKNP. His father and grandfather both worked as rangers in the park. “We love to work for the Javan rhino,” he says.
Seeing a Javan rhino in the wild is the most interesting part of the job for Jajat. He recently was part of a patrol that was able to capture video footage of a rhino on the beach. The video seen below went viral and he was proud that the Minister of Forestry shared it on her own personal page as well.
Jajat has a family of his own, including a grandchild. He enjoys telling them about their family’s history of protecting the Javan rhino. “My family is proud of what we have done to conserve the Javan rhino,” he says. “I am honored to continue the work that my grandfather and father began.”
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Rhino Protection Units (RPUs). The RPU program was established on August 31,1995 and is the frontline protection for Indonesia’s critically endangered rhinos in Java and Sumatra. IRF conducted interviews in the field of RPU members and will be posting a series to the blog to mark the milestone.