Friday, March 25, 2016

Rhino Thought to be Extinct in the Wild Found After 40 Years

There was good news from the World Wildlife Fund this week when it was announced that a very rare Sumatran rhino was found in Kalimantan, the Indonesia part of Borneo. It is the first time that such a creature has been spotted in the wild in more than 40 years, and bringing hope to conservationists that the species can be brought back from the edge of extinction.

The female rhino is said to be about four or five years old, and she was reportedly safely captured in a pit trap on March 12. She is now being held in a safe enclosure until she can be transported to a safe sanctuary in Indonesia.

It is believed that fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos still exist in the wild, all of them on the island of Sumatra. The rhinos that existed in Kalimantan were declared extinct last year, although now there is hope that a few may yet wander the jungles there.

As with rhinos in Africa, the Sumatran rhino has faced serious threats from poaching, but also encroachments on their territory from miners, loggers, and farmers as well. These challenges have made the species one of the rarest on Earth.

In the same press release, the WWF also announced that three new calves have joined the breeding herd of Javan rhinos in Ujung Kulon National Park. That rhino population was down to just 60 animals worldwide as of September, 2015. But now, another three rhinos have been born as the slow process of reviving that species continues as well.

Hopefully these positive gains to these rhino species will continue.

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