A critically endangered Sumatran rhino named Delilah successfully gives birth in Indonesia


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros was born on Indonesia's western island of Sumatra on Saturday, making it the second Sumatran rhino born in the country this year and a welcome addition to a species currently in danger of extinction. The number is less than 50.

A female named Delilah gave birth to a 25 kg (55 lb) male calf at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province on the southern tip of Sumatra island.

The calf's father is a male named Harapan, born in 2006 at the Cincinnati Zoo. He was the last Sumatran rhinoceros in the world to be brought back to Indonesia, meaning the entire Sumatran rhinoceros population is now in Indonesia.

Most of the remaining rhinos live in Sumatra, many of which are in captivity. They are threatened by destruction of tropical forest habitat and by hunters who kill the animals for their horns, which are prized for making jewelery and for use in traditional medicine in China and other parts of Asia.

"This birth also marks the second Sumatran rhinoceros birth in 2023. It emphasizes the Indonesian government's ongoing commitment to rhino conservation efforts in Indonesia, especially the Sumatran rhinoceros," Indonesian Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Narbya Bakar said in a written statement. Said statement.

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He said that, through semi-natural breeding efforts, they had five live births of Sumatran rhinoceros in the Kambas Sanctuary.

A conservation guard found Delilah with a newborn male calf at her side on a Saturday morning, 10 days before her expected delivery date.

Delilah and her calf are in good condition as the calf is now able to stand upright and walk. A statement from Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry said it was able to stand and breastfeed shortly after it was discovered.

The yet-to-be-named calf is the first successful delivery from Delilah.

She was the second calf born to her mother Ratu, who in 2012 also gave birth to a male named Andatu, the first rhinoceros born in captivity in Indonesia in 124 years. The father, Andalas, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001.

In September, Ratu, a 23-year-old female rhinoceros, gave birth to a female rhinoceros at the sanctuary in Lampung. According to the conservation group WWF, the life expectancy of Sumatran rhinoceros is typically 35 to 40 years.

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