LAMPUNG, Indonesia, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) is pleased to announce the birth of a baby male rhino born to Ratu, a 12-year-old Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia's Way Kambas National Park. The calf was born on June 23 at 12:46 a.m. with no complications, attended by SRS veterinarians, keepers and international advisors..
There are fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos living in Indonesia and Malaysia. This is the first birth of a Sumatran rhino in an Indonesian facility in 124 years.
"We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf and are cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive," said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the IRF. "He's absolutely adorable, and we haven't stopped smiling since the moment we were sure he was alive and healthy. We have been waiting for this moment since the sanctuary was built in 1998."
The calf weighs 60-70 pounds and looks healthy and active. Dr. Dedi Candra, head veterinarian at the SRS, monitored Ratu weekly, weighing her and conducting regular ultrasound exams, using methods developed by the Cincinnati Zoo, where the father, Andalas, was born in 2001.
"Ratu gave birth after two hours of second-stage labor and several days of restlessness. The calf stood in about an hour and began nursing almost immediately. Ratu is a very good mother."
To assist her pregnancy, Ratu was prescribed a hormone supplement that was given orally every day. It was gradually withdrawn as the expected delivery date neared. Dr. Terri Roth, director of Cincinnati Zoo's Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife and vice president for IRF's Asia programs, provided the protocol and dosage. Andalas's mother, who was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, was given the same hormone.
The Sumatran rhino is seriously threatened by the continuing loss of its tropical forest habitat and hunting pressure from poachers, who kill rhinos for their valuable horns. The IRF operates Rhino Protection Units in two of the three remaining habitats to ensure that the wild population and its habitat are protected. www.rhinos.org.
SOURCE International Rhino Foundation