An extremely rare Sumatran rhino has been found in Indonesian Borneo. The discovery is a major win for nature lovers as one hasn’t been seen in the wild for more than 40 years.
Until 2013 the species was thought to be extinct in the region. It was only the discovery of footprints and an image on a camera trap that proved otherwise.
News of the sighting was confirmed on Tuesday by WWF, who reported they safely captured the rhino in East Kalimantan on March 12. The rhino was safely captured in a pit trap in Kutai Barat in East Kalimantan.
The rhino is female and thought to be between four and five years old. WWF-Indonesia chief executive Pak Efransjah said: “This is an exciting discovery and a major conservation success … we will now strengthen our efforts to protect this extraordinary species.”
The plan is to resettle the rhino in a sanctuary 160km from where she was caught. The exact location is being kept under wraps to protect her from poachers.
Once the species roamed much of South-East Asia, however poaching and habitat loss — a direct result of mining, plantations and logging — saw the population drastically decline.
Today it’s estimated that less than 100 live in the wild.
The WWF will attempt to relocate three more rhinos to the same sanctuary in order to establish a breeding program. These conservation efforts will give the threatened species a much needed second-chance at survival.
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