Harapan was sent to Indonesia in 2015 to help contribute to his endangered species' survival
A male Sumatran rhino calf was born in Indonesia on Saturday!
The newborn was sired by Cincinnati Zoo-born Harapan, who was sent to Indonesia in 2015 to help contribute to his endangered species' survival. Harapan was only the third Sumatran rhino born at the zoo and was serving as the last ambassador of his species in the western hemisphere before his departure.
Dr. Terri Roth, director of the Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW), said in a statement that "it was a long, arduous journey for all involved, and not without risks."
"Although it took several years before Harapan achieved what he was sent to do, this birth of his first calf at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) confirms that we made the right decision. Our efforts and sacrifice were worth it, and the ultimate goal has been achieved," Roth added.
The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary is in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province. According to a press release from the International Rhino Foundation, the newborn is the second Sumatran rhino born at the facility this year and is Harapan's first offspring.
His mom, Delilah, is also a first-time parent and was the second calf ever born at the sanctuary in 2016. With the addition of the newborn, there are now 10 Sumatran rhinos living in the facility.
"The Sumatran rhino breeding program has never been in a better position," Nina Fascione, the International Rhino Foundation's executive director, said in a statement. "Two years ago there was only one captive Sumatran rhino pair in the world able to successfully produce offspring. Now there are three pairs - six rhinos - who are proven breeders. Those are much better odds for the long-term survival of this species."
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"Delilah brought that calf into the world and started nursing it with no fuss or fanfare," Fascione explained. She emphasized that the calf's birth is "an incredible event that gives hope to the future of this critically endangered species."
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Sumatran rhino is critically endangered with a population of less than 50.
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