Rebecca is a writer living the Los Angeles dream. She loves hiking, music, and crocheting on her couch to the background lull of Netflix. She believes our world is complex. By sharing and listening to each other’s stories, we unpack that complexity layer by layer, learning more about who we are and how we want to live our lives. She writes to keep learning.
Back in May, one endangered rhino’s life changed forever.
The International Rhino Foundation announced that one of its Sumatran rhinos, Ratu, birthed a beautiful female calf — the second new calf born into this species, in Indonesia and in captivity, in over 128 years!
Ratu, an Indonesia-based rhino, lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, and was also responsible for the first calf born in captivity after this period that was more than a century long. Her son, Andatu, was born back in 2012.
Ratu’s little calves have each entered this world as more than just new adorable baby animals.
As IRF Executive Director Dr. Susie Ellis told LittleThings, “Sumatran rhinos are the most endangered large mammal on the planet because of their rapid rate of decline.
“They were just declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia, and now exist only in Indonesia. Ratu’s calf has just increased the population by one percent — while this won’t save the species, it’s one more Sumatran rhino on Earth.”
For some, Ratu’s calves have sparked beautiful new hope for these struggling creatures. Scroll through below to see how this wonderful news stands to impact the entire Sumatran rhino species, and then watch the video to witness this miraculous birth!
Some readers might find the video below to be too graphic. If you do not wish to see this rare rhino giving birth, please click back to the LittleThings homepage.
Four years ago, she made history birthing her son, Andatu.
When asked if Andatu will get to spend time with the new calf, IRF Executive Director Dr. Susie Ellis told LittleThings, “Sumatran rhinos are solitary in nature, and so the conditions here are similar.
“Andatu will likely not have the chance to spend time with his sister. In the wild, his mom would have already kicked him out of her territory.”
Sieffert shared with LittleThingssome of the scariest challenges facing this species, explaining: “The two greatest challenges are poaching and a small, distributed population.
“We support Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) in national parks on Sumatra, who spend 15 [or more] days out of every month in the field, patrolling, monitoring for rhinos, and deactivating snares.
“Habitat loss from plantations, agriculture, and mining has created small, isolated pockets of the population.
“This means that rhinos living in these tiny pockets of remanent forest aren’t able to interact and ultimately breed with other rhinos.
“A group of rhino conservation partners, including IRF, are working to create ‘Intensive Protective Zones’ within protected areas (parks) and consolidating rhinos in these areas so they can be protected by RPUs and breed. We also support the SRS, where the baby rhino was born.”