Interview with an RPU – Tisno Protects Javan Rhinos for Future Generations

Tisno joined the RPUs in Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP) in Java in 2006. He wanted to protect Javan rhinos and their habitat and has been doing so for 16 years.

“The Javan rhino is a living fossil,” he explains. “We want to protect them so our children and grandchildren can continue to see them in the wild and not just in a picture.”

Tisno recently became a grandfather and works to conserve the species for future generations. “They should know that being part of the RPU is an honor for me.”

Tisno has seen several Javan rhinos in the wild and once even come across the body of a rhino that died from natural causes. He and his team had an interesting time moving it from the middle of the jungle for investigation. “My favorite part of the job is the investigation of poachers,” he says. “I believe I have the skills for this kind of work and that it helps the rhino conservation effort.”

Javan rhinos are elusive, so motion-detecting camera traps are placed throughout Ujung Kulon National Park to get pictures like these.

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.

If you’d like to congratulate the RPUs for their 25th anniversary, leave a comment below and we’ll pass it on!

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