Press Releases


May 27, 2019

A statement from Susie Ellis, PhD, Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation “Tam”, a male Sumatran rhino whose estimated age was 35 years, died today in Sabah, Malaysia following a prolonged illness. Tam’s health had deteriorated in the last few months, Sabah Wildlife Department sources said. Tam passed away surrounded by the dedicated keepers and veterinary staff from the Borneo Rhino Alliance who had cared for him since 2008, when he was rescued from a palm oil plantation and placed in a managed care facility in Sabah’s Tabin Wildlife Reserve. The International Rhino Foundation offers condolences to the Government of Sabah and our colleagues at the Borneo Rhino Alliance team on the loss of this important animal. “I remember so well when Tam was captured and the high hopes everyone had that he could be the founding member of a successful captive breeding program in Sabah, and join the then-international efforts…

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[caption id="attachment_2492" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo by Ridho Hafizh Zainur Ridha/WWF-Indonesia : A critically endangered Sumatran rhino in a pit trap in West Kutai, Kalimantan, Indonesia. The rhino has been safely transported to a Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary as part of the efforts of Sumatran Rhino Rescue. Learn more at[/caption] [KUTAI BARAT, 28 November 2018] -  A female Sumatran rhino, one of the most critically endangered mammal species on Earth, has been rescued from a mining concession in East Kalimantan. The rhino was transported by truck from the rescue site to a temporary holding facility in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan Province on the island of Borneo. Sumatran rhinos have decreased by 70 percent in the past 30 years. With only 80 remaining, and only in Indonesia, it’s paramount to ensure that each individual survives. Led by the Government of Indonesia, this rescue is the first of many in a groundbreaking program to…

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Disney Conservation Fund Helps International Rhino Foundation Protect the Magic of Nature

October 2, 2018

[Fort Worth, Texas, October 2, 2018] – The International Rhino Foundation is the latest recipient of support from the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) for its work to conserve t black rhino populations in Zimbabwe and the Sumatran rhino in Indonesia.Since 1995, the DCF has supported local efforts around the world aimed at saving wildlife, inspiring action and protecting the planet with more than $75 million distributed to nonprofit organizations. Grant funds will support daily monitoring of several hundred critically endangered black rhinos that inhabit approximately 1.5 million acres in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region. This support helps employ expert rhino trackers who can essentially identify every individual rhino in this protected population, helping teams of wildlife professionals perform routine marking operations, de-hornings to deter poachers, emergency veterinary treatments and rescue operations, and the translocation of animals from areas threatened by poachers to more secure locations. In Indonesia, Sumadi Hasmaran from our implementing…

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International Conservation Organizations Team Up to Save the Sumatran Rhino

Global Wildlife Conservation, International Rhino Foundation, International Union for Conservation of Nature, National Geographic Society, and WWF join together to launch Sumatran Rhino Rescue: a multi-year effort to support the Indonesian government’s national Sumatran rhino conservation breeding program and save the species from extinction. Washington, D.C. — Today, in advance of World Rhino Day on September 22, five of the world’s leading international conservation organizations announced the formation of a groundbreaking strategic partnership to save the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros from extinction. The effort, established to support the Government of Indonesia’s national Sumatran rhino conservation breeding program, is led by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission, in coordination with Global Wildlife Conservation, International Rhino Foundation, National Geographic Society, and WWF. With fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, the species faces a crisis point. Without intervention, the Sumatran rhino will soon go extinct. After…

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August 22, 2018

The International Rhino Foundation Releases 2018 State of the Rhino Report in advance of World Rhino Day on September 22 FORT WORTH, Texas – In its 2018 State of the Rhino report released one month before World Rhino Day, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) urges governments and individuals to help “Keep the Five Alive.” For five years, African rhinos have been poached at a rate of three per day. Overall, two-thirds of the world’s five rhino species could be lost in our lifetime, IRF says. IRF releases a State of the Rhino report each year to share milestones and stumbling blocks of the conservation fight to save rhinos. Highlights from the 2018 report: Of the five species, the Sumatran rhino is the most in peril, with population numbers fewer than 80. Together with its Indonesian partner Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI), IRF has developed the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, located in Way…

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Regarding Sudan, the last Male Northern White Rhino

March 20, 2018

STATEMENT FROM DR. SUSIE ELLIS Executive Director, International Rhino Foundation Regarding Sudan, the last Male Northern White Rhino “The International Rhino Foundation offers our deepest condolences to the Ol Pejeta team on the loss of this important animal", says Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation. “Systematic poaching is decimating the world’s rhino populations at rates approaching the 20-year high that led to the demise of the wild northern white rhino in the first place. We must never forget the tragic lessons that led to the slow demise, and will lead to the eventual loss, of this subspecies. The situation faced by the northern white rhino must never be repeated.” Sudan, a 45-year-old male northern white rhino was euthanized yesterday at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya following a long illness. According to Ol Pejeta sources, Sudan developed an age-related infection on his right hind leg last year. It…

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February 1, 2018

Fort Worth, Texas – The International Rhino Foundation's strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. On June 1, 2016, we upgraded our methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health with CN 2.1. These enhancements further substantiates the financial health of our four star charities. "The International Rhino Foundation's exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and…

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International Rhino Foundation Announces Generous Bequest from Mark Hopkins Schell

The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce a recent, generous bequest of $300,000 from the estate of Mark Hopkins Schell to benefit rhino conservation and applied research. Mark Hopkins Schell was a model, actor, successful business owner, and philanthropist, who hoped that his gift for rhinos would inspire others to support animal conservation and help build a better future for all creatures on Earth. In honor of Mark’s legacy and his love for African wildlife, a portion of his gift to the IRF will benefit African rhinoceros conservation research. In March 2018, the IRF will co-host a Biological Management Workshop with WWF-South Africa. Nearly 75 rhino experts will convene to discuss topics ranging from how can the rhino conservation community best use genetic information to inform black rhino management to discussing the status of current rhino meta-population strategies and which areas within Africa are most important for future…

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January 19, 2018

Sumatran Rhino Art Exhibition: Indonesia’s Hidden Treasure Collaboration for Sumatran Rhino Conservation Jakarta, 19 January 2018— In an effort to raise awareness for the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, Tim Badak is hosting a 3-day inspiring art exhibition and charity auction from the 19th through 21 January 2018 at the National Library of Indonesia. The exhibition includes Indonesian and International artists and national brands. The Sumatran rhino is the most endangered land mammal on the planet. Two of the world’s five rhino species are found only in Indonesia. The smallest of all rhinos, fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos remain, threatened by poaching, human encroachment, and deforestation. The crisis facing the Sumatran rhino has been a joint focus for local and international NGOs, along with the Indonesian Government and communities. Conservation actions such as protection and active management, including captive breeding, and applied research are crucial for the survival of the species.…

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March 7, 2016

IRF RESPONSE TO RHINO POACHING AT THOIRY ZOO IN FRANCE The international rhino poaching crisis has now reached Europe. Conservation groups across the world are saddened to hear of the tragic killing of a young male rhino at the Thoiry Zoo just outside of Paris. “Rhino poaching has historically targeted wild populations,” said Dr. Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation. “This is the first such known poaching incident at a zoo. Criminal networks fairly recently began targeting museum specimens in Europe. Zoos, as living museums, now are also at risk. In response to the Paris rhino killing, we urge all zoological facilities to take serious measures to keep their rhinos safe.” The event brings the horror of rhino poaching closer to home for the western world. Rhino poaching has primarily taken place in Africa, where more than a thousand rhinos are killed every year. “Poaching is not…

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September 19, 2016

New Report Indicates Rhino Deaths Nearly Outpacing Births A new report from international wildlife experts indicates that the confirmed number of rhinos poached in Africa has increased to 1,342 rhinos in 2015. This is the highest level since poaching began to escalate in 2008 when 262 rhinos were reported poached. These losses are the highest in nearly two decades. The IUCN/SSC’s African Rhino Specialist Group (AfRSG), Asian Rhino Specialist Group (AsRSG) and TRAFFIC compiled the report for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora ahead of its upcoming Conference of the Parties in Johannesburg, South Africa. The International Rhino Foundation’s Executive Director Susie Ellis says the report demonstrates the need for a multi-faceted approach to save these endangered species. “This is troubling news as we approach World Rhino Day,” said Ellis. “Rhino champions need a team effort from around the globe to battle…

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September 7, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Trade in endangered species will not be tolerated The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) lauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for burning its stockpile of confiscated rhino horn on September 8, 2016. This planned destruction, which will take place at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, comes just before World Rhino Day on September 22 and weeks prior to the international world wildlife conference, CITES (see Editor’s Note, below). “This rhino horn burn sends the message to criminal networks and to rhino horn buyers that the United States will not tolerate illegal trade in rhino horn,” said IRF Executive Director Dr. Susie Ellis.  “The high demand for this commodity results in dire consequences for rhino species. Today’s burn makes clear that confiscated horns should not be stockpiled, let alone traded.” These events tend to draw heavy media coverage, highlighting the extinction risk faced by the species and…

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Rhino Experts Oppose Production and Sale of Synthetic Rhino Horn

May 18, 2015

Synthetic Rhino Horn Will Not Reduce Demand Nor Deter Poaching, Say Global Advocates In response to the emerging synthetic rhino horn industry, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and Save the Rhino International have declared their opposition to the manufacture, marketing and sale of the product. The two rhino conservation organizations released a joint statement calling synthetic rhino horn trade ineffective at reducing the rising demand and sale of authentic rhino horn in Vietnam and China and, therefore, potentially counterproductive in curbing the current poaching crisis that threatens rhino species with extinction. “Selling synthetic horn does not reduce the demand for rhino horn or and could lead to more poaching because it increases the demand for ‘the real thing,’” said Susie Ellis, executive director of IRF. “In addition, production of synthetic horn encourages its purported medicinal value, even though science does not support any medical benefits. And, importantly, questions arise as…

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May 12, 2016

LAMPUNG, Indonesia — The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce the birth of a female rhino calf born to Ratu, a 14-year-old Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park. The calf was born on May 12 at 4:42 a.m. with no complications, attended by SRS veterinarians, keepers and a handful of international advisors. Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered, and there are fewer than 100 left in the world. This is the second birth of a Sumatran rhino in an Indonesian facility in more than 128 years. Ratu made history in when she gave birth to her first calf, a male named Andatu, in 2012. The International Rhino Foundation established the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in 1997, and this second birth shows that the expertise exists in Indonesia to contribute to the Sumatran rhino population’s growth. The Sanctuary's dedicated staff are top-notch…

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Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhino Pregnant with Second Baby

Sept. 22, 2015

Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary celebrates World Rhino Day with new hope for the species FORT WORTH, Texas — A new rhino calf will soon join five other rhinos at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park, offering new hope for the endangered species. Female rhino ‘Ratu,’ who wandered out of the rain forest in 2005, will give birth in May. Her first calf, ‘Andatu,’ was born at the facility in 2012. Andatu, as well as the new calf-to-be, was fathered by ‘Andalas,’ born at the Cincinnati Zoo and moved to Indonesia from the Los Angeles Zoo in 2007. Today’s announcement gives special significance to World Rhino Day, which is intended to increase awareness and support for the five remaining species of rhinos. Increasingly, all rhino species are facing serious threats from poaching to habitat loss and conservation experts are working against the clock to save them. “The Sumatran…

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Environmentalists Call for Trade Sanctions Against Mozambique for Rhino and Elephant Poaching

July 2, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) announced they are petitioning the Obama Administration to impose trade sanctions against Mozambique in response to rampant poaching. Since 2010, Mozambican nationals have slaughtered up to 1,862 rhinos in South Africa, as well as thousands of elephants in Tanzania and Mozambique. President Obama is authorized under the Pelly Amendment to the U.S. Fishermen’s Protective Act to enact trade sanctions against any nation certified to be undermining an international conservation agreement. EIA and IRF filed a petition under the Pelly Amendment to certify that Mozambique has been in constant violation of international rhino and elephant regulations for many years through ongoing illegal trade in rhino horn and elephant ivory. Poaching by Mozambicans undermines the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a multilateral treaty to protect wildlife against over-exploitation and…

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Black Rhino Hunting Safari Auction Highlights Need to Save All Rhinos

October 29, 2013

Much media attention has been directed this past week to the Dallas Safari Club's intention to auction off a permit to hunt a black rhino in Namibia, the proceeds to go towards preserving this magnificent and critically endangered species. The International Rhino Foundation does not condone the hunt, but recognizes that it is legal under Namibian and United States law, and under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We respect Namibia's efforts to maintain a healthy rhino population as well as raise money for the important work of conserving the species. That said, we note that the fate of one hunted rhino pales in comparison to the nearly 800 rhinos lost to illegal poaching in South Africa alone this year and to escalating poaching losses in Namibia and other range countries where rhinos once thrived but now are barely hanging on. The…

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First Baby Born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

At 12:40 am on Saturday, June 23, 2012, Ratu, one of the three adult female rhinos at Indonesia’s Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, gave birth to a 60-lb male calf. Not only was this Ratu’s first baby, but it was the first Sumatran rhino ever born in captivity in Indonesia and only the fifth ever born in captivity worldwide. “This is a historic birth because Sumatran rhinos are on the brink of extinction,” said Novianto Bambang, director of biodiversity conservation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry. Biologists estimate that only 150 to 200 individuals survive in Indonesia and Sabah, Malaysia. The baby was born after a 16-month gestation period, which is about average for African and Asian rhino species. Indonesian veterinarian, Dr. Dedi Candra, managed Ratu’s pregnancy on a daily basis, with help from Dr. Terri Roth of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which has bred more Sumatran rhinos in captivity than…

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