Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary
In 1996, the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) built the 250-acre Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in partnership with local NGO Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI), who currently manages the SRS, the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Way Kambas National Park and Taman Safari International. Located in the heart of Way Kambas National Park on the island of Sumatra, the SRS is home to the only reproductively viable captive Sumatran rhinos in the world. The facility’s eight resident rhinos reside in large, natural rainforest habitats and receive state-of-the-art veterinary care and nutrition. This tiny population is the core of an intensively managed breeding and research program that is intended to promote the species’ population growth while also generating a genetically diverse “founder” group that could be used as a source for animals to repopulate the National Parks. The goal of this program is to increase our knowledge about the ecology and behavior of the species while also supporting the population in the wild. With no more than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild, the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary plays a critical role in the survival of the species.
In October 2019, IRF and YABI cut the ribbon on the expansion of the Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia. The larger sanctuary will provide a home for more rescued rhinos and support the Indonesian government’s national breeding program to help save the species.
The SRS expansion is the third step in the emergency action plan developed under the guidance of the Indonesian government. A coalition of international conservation organizations, including IRF, has launched the Sumatran Rhino Rescue project, a multi-faceted, multi-year effort to survey, translocate, breed and ultimately return rhinos to the wild in protected, sustainable habitats.
The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary has produced the only three calves born in captivity in Indonesia. Female Ratu gave birth to a male calf, Andatu on June 23, 2012, after having been bred by Andalas in March 2011 and taking a 16-month pregnancy to term. Delilah was the second calf born to the pair on May 12, 2016. After eight lost pregnancies, Sumatran rhino Rosa gave birth to her first calf on March 24, 2022. The female calf is also the first offspring for male Andatu, who is now approaching 10 years old. These births were the result of years of hard work and international research and collaboration – and they represent our best hope of saving Sumatran rhinos from extinction.
Sumatran Rhinos are Critically Endangered
Despite continuous protection, the Sumatran rhino population has decreased by more than 70% over the last 30 years. Given the species’ Critically Endangered status, it’s important that we learn as much as possible about the Sumatran rhino – its basic biology, disease risks, food and habitat requirements – to help it survive. The rhinos living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, and as instruments for education for local communities and the general public. They also comprise an ‘insurance’ population that can be used to re-establish or revitalize wild populations, once threats have been eliminated in their natural habitat.
HOW YOU CAN HELP SUMATRAN RHINOS
Sumatran rhinos need your help to survive. Make a donation to the International Rhino Foundation in support of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary today. Your donation will provide veterinary and husbandry equipment to care for the rhinos including medications and staff salaries, food and water for the rhinos and materials to renovate and expand the sanctuary when necessary.
If we don’t act now, the Sumatran rhino could be extinct in our lifetime.
MEET THE RHINOS OF THE SRS
There are eight rhinos being cared for at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.
Rosa and Sedah Mirah
As a young, wild rhino living in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Rosa developed a dangerous habit of frequenting nearby villages for food, so was brought to the SRS where she could be better protected. Rosa became a mom for the first time on March 24, 2022 – only the second Sumatran rhino at an Indonesian facility to do so.
At an estimated 42 years old, Bina is the oldest captive Sumatran rhino on record. Bina is also one of the original SRS residents, arriving in 1998 after being rescued from a logging concession in an area of southern Sumatra called Bina Samakta.
Ratu – whose name means “queen” – was born in Way Kambas National Park more than 20 years ago and was brought to the SRS in 2005 for her safety after wandering into a local village one night and being chased even farther from home. Although it took many years of courtship, Ratu became the first Sumatran rhino to give birth at a facility in Indonesia.
Born on May 12, 2016, Delilah was the second rhino birth at the SRS and the second offspring to Ratu and Andalas. While close with her mother growing up, thanks to the 2019 expansion of the SRS, Delilah now lives in her very own semi-wild habitat. Now almost six years old, Delilah represents the next generation of the conservation breeding program.
When Andalas was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001, he became the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in more than 112 years. He moved to the SRS in 2007 to join the conservation breeding program and has since sired two calves, Andatu & Delilah.
Harapan is Andalas’s younger brother and was also born at the Cincinnati Zoo. After living at several facilities throughout the United States, ‘Harry’ moved to the SRS in 2015 to join the breeding program. Harapan was the last Sumatran rhino to live in the US.
When Andatu was born on June 23, 2012, he not only was the first Sumatran rhino born at the SRS, but the first ever born in captivity in Indonesia. Andatu has made history again by becoming the second Sumatran rhino in the breeding program to sire a calf (who was born March 24, 2022).
All Sumatran rhino images are shared with permission by the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Way Kambas National Park.