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10 Interesting Facts of Sumatran Rhinoceroes

by Tri Setiya

Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is one species of rhinoceros belonging to Indonesia besides Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinocerus sondaicus). Sumatran rhinoceros (Sumatran rhino) is also the smallest species of rhinoceros in the world.

It is one of the 5 species of rhinoceros that still survive from extinction.

The other kinds of survived rhino in the world are Javan Rhino, Indian rhinoceros, African black rhinoceros and African white rhinoceros.

Sumatran rhinoceros is one of the natural wealth of the earth that the population only exists in Indonesia. Its presence in Peninsular Malaysia has been declared as extinct. Because Sabah has only a small and isolated population, it can only breed in captivity, if it could be successful. Furthermore, these are the interesting facts of Sumatran Rhinoceros.

  1. Hairy Rhinoceros

In addition to the only rhinoceros in the world, the Sumatran rhinoceros belongs to the smallest rhinoceros of all rhinoceros species in the world. Body shape is fat and slightly rounded, with body weight reaching about 909 kg.

The Sumatran Rhinoceros is 120 to 145 Cm in size, and about 250 Cm in length. The Sumatran rhino has two horns. The length of the front horn is about 15-25 Cm, while the rear horn is smaller with a size of about 10 Cm. The horns in female rhinos are smaller and shorter than the male rhinoceros.

The typical characteristic of the Sumatran Rhinoceros is a fairly long fur covering the entire body. The hair is grown from the outer side of the front foot, stomach, up on both hind legs. In fact, for the Sumatran Rhinos living in the wild, the fur is very dense than the ones living in captivity. This typical Sumatran rhinoceros is the only hairy rhino in the world.

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  1. The only one rhino in Asia which has two thorns

The Sumatran rhino is the only Asian rhino that has two horns. Unlike the Javan rhinoceros, which is only hairy in the ears and the tip of the tail, the Sumatran rhino is hairy almost in all parts of its body. No wonder if he was nicknamed hairy rhino (haired rhino). Physical size is also considered the smallest compared to other rhino species. Body weight is not more than a ton and height of his body was under 150 cm.

  1. The population is endanger

It is estimated that this herbivorous population of two horns is less than 200 tails. It is no wonder if the International Union for Conservation of Nature, (IUCN) Redlist then includes this species in the critically endangered list. The Sumatran rhino officially holds as one of Endangered Animals in Indonesia since 1996.

The location of the Sumatran Rhinoceros is now increasingly reduced. For comparison, based on records at the beginning of the Indonesian Rhinoceros Conservation Strategy in 1994, there are 17 rhinos enclosure in Sumatra Island.

Currently, the number of Sumatran Rhinoceros is only three places such as Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Way Kambar National Park, and Leuseur National Park. In a few decades, Sumatran rhinoceros almost spread in all part of Sumatra.

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  1. The most hunted animal in the world

For many years, the hunting of the Sumatran rhinos for horns and other body parts – usually believed to be traditional drug substances – has resulted in the declining population of the animals. Currently, the loss of forest habitat poses a major threat to survival of the remaining Sumatran rhinoceros.

The destruction of forests accompanied by various unsustainable activities by humans has led to a further deterioration of the Sumatran rhino population towards extinction.

  1. The most unique rhinos in the world

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest but unique species of rhinoceros, due to its furry rhinoceros and is thought to be the most ancient rhinoceros compared to the other four rhinoceroses, on the 23rd of June 2012 a Sumatran rhinoceros was born in Way Kambas National Park in Lampung, and was named: Andatu.

Andatu is the first rhino to be born outside its habitat, since breeding conservation efforts have been conducted in Asia since 124 years ago.

  1. will die in 35-40 years old

The lifetime of the rhino is not long. The lifespan of rhinos that only range from 35-40 years, making the existence of this rhino increasingly threatened not to mention there are some cases found in rhinoceros treated in preservation area will mostly die at the age under 35 years.

If the maximal age of the rhinoceros is only 35 years and the reproductive period begins at 7 years of age with 18 months of pregnancy, the rhinoceros has only 25 years to reproduce as well as the child rhino age for at least 1 year, each parent will likely only produce a maximum of 4-5 individual rhino children throughout his life.

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  1. Likes to life solitary

The Sumatran rhino also has a fairly shy nature. They also prefer to live in a small group and generally prefer to be alone. The nature of those who like to live alone seems to make it difficult for scientists to breed them. That is why this type of rhinoceros is currently very little populated. The Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is an exploratory animal that lives in small groups although it generally lives solitary.

  1. Prefer to live in around the swamp

Sumatran Rhino habitat includes lowland swamp forest to hill forest although generally this rare animal likes dense vegetation forest. These two-horned rare animals are more commonly seen in lowland secondary forests that have water, shelter, and low-growing food sources. The main foods of Sumatran rhino include fruits (especially wild mangoes and fikus), leaves, small branches, and bark.

  1. Government makes the great campaign for the conservation of the Sumatran Rhinos

WWF-Indonesia is also intensifying efforts to conserve the Sumatran Rhino in the area of Leuser Ecosystem Management Agency, Aceh. Various research activities were conducted to identify the distribution and quality of rhino habitat.

Meanwhile, in an effort to secure the area, according to Adhi, the involvement of local people who have lived longer around the habitat of Rhinos can be an effective “fence” in maintaining the rhino population.

  1. One of the international preserved animals

In addition, Sumatran rhinoceros is also listed in CITES Appendix I since 1975. CITES Appendix I means Sumatran rhinos are protected internationally from all forms of trade. The decline in Sumatran rhinoceros population (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is caused by poaching for horns and other body parts. Although for the practice of illegal hunting is suspected to never happen again in the last ten years.

Those are the ten interesting facts of Sumatran Rhinoceros. Although the population is endangered, the good news comes from Ratu. It, a 9-year-old female Sumatran rhino is confirmed pregnant at Penagkaran at Na Kanan Way Park.

The rhino pregnancy in captivity that was the first time in 112 years gave little hope for the development of Sumatran Rhinoceros and Javan Rhinos in Indonesia.

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