Nature Ramble

Usually the news is bad, especially for those facing extinction. But, sometimes there is a ray of light that illuminates the future.

This weeks Nature Ramble is about one of those faint rays of hope.

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With a face that only a mother could love…

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Endangered Sumatran rhinoceros born in captivity

Ratu’s pregnancy lasted about 16 months

A Sumatran rhinoceros – one of the world’s most endangered species – has given birth at a sanctuary in Indonesia.

Conservationists at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park said the mother, Ratu, and her male calf were both “very well”.

It is only the fourth recorded case of a Sumatran rhino being born in captivity in a century.

There are thought to be fewer than 200 alive in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Their numbers have dropped by 50% over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of habitat.

‘Big present’

A spokesman for Indonesia’s forest ministry, Masyhud, told the AFP news agency that Ratu’s labour had gone “smoothly and naturally”.

“It’s really a big present for the Sumatran rhino breeding efforts as we know that this is a very rare species which have some difficulties in their reproduction,” he added.

“This is the first birth of a Sumatran rhino at a sanctuary in Indonesia.”

It was Ratu’s third pregnancy. The previous two ended in miscarriages.

The father of the baby rhino, Andalas, was born at Cincinnati Zoo in the US in 2001 – the first Sumatran rhino to be delivered in captivity in 112 years.

Source: BBC News Read more

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