Nur Basuki has 16 years of service with the RPUs in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra. He enjoys outdoor activity and wildlife and was happy to be selected from many applicants to join the RPUs in 2004.
“Every patrol is interesting,” he says. “I enjoy seeing all of the wildlife like the Sumatran rhino, tiger and elephant.” He says this in spite of two dangerous encounters with sun bears while out on patrol.
He has seen rhinos on many occasions while out on patrol. “Many people mistake them for a water buffalo, but can be recognized by their two horns,” he explains. “They are amazing!”
Married with two children, he tells them about the importance of his job:
“The Sumatran rhino population is decreasing dramatically. We must protect them.”
There has been no known rhino poaching in Way Kambas National Park for more than 15 years, but with so few individuals left, Sumatran rhinos are struggling to find each other to breed and keep the species going.
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 daily this week to mark the milestone.