Asian Rhino Projectx

Andalas - Male Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Andalas, the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in more than 112 years, is the living, breathing result of a groundbreaking research and breeding effort undertaken by American zoos, the Indonesian government, and the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. He is the first in a long line of Sumatran rhinos that hopefully will be bred in captivity and eventually introduced back into the wild to help bolster wild rhino populations.

Andalas now weighs over 1,600 pounds and has fully adapted to his life in the jungle at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. He loves making his own mud wallows to cool down, and has started foraging for plants and twigs himself, rather than always waiting for his keepers to feed him. Andalas has also grown into his role as the sanctuary’s primary breeding male, having reached sexual maturity sometime in early 2008.  Because Andalas’ early interactions with female rhinos were quite aggressive, the SRS staff worked hard to socialize Andalas to the female rhinos by feeding the rhinos their daily diets together through a fence in the central breeding area. After he learned to communicate well with the female rhinos, the keepers and vets began gradually introducing Andalas and female Ratu during appropriate times for breeding. Andalas finally began breeding with Ratu in December 2009, and after only three matings, Ratu became pregnant. Unfortunately she later miscarried the pregnancy – not an unusual occurrence with rhinos – but she and Andalas resumed breeding and successfully had their first calf born in June 2012!

About Andalas

Origins: Andalas was the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in more than 112 years. He is the living, breathing result of a groundbreaking research and breeding effort undertaken by American zoos, the Indonesian government, and the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Andalas was born on 13 September 2001 at Cincinnati Zoo. This little male rhino weighed 32 kilograms at birth, and immediately became a worldwide news sensation. Andalas’ parents, Emi and Ipuh, were rescued from south-west Sumatra, where the remaining forest areas are rapidly being cleared to make way for an ever-expanding human population. Emi and Ipuh became part of an international breeding program developed to increase the population of the Critically Endangered Sumatran rhino.

Life History: By his first birthday, Andalas had grown to 428 kilograms – as large as a horse but only a little more than half the size of a full-grown Sumatran rhino. When he was nearly two-years-old, Andalas was weaned and was eventually transferred to the Los Angeles Zoo to make room for a new addition as mum Emi had conceived yet again! During his stay in California, Andalas grew to more than 728 kilograms. By the time he was five, he had reached his full adult size.

The Global Management Propagation Board for Indonesian rhinos recommended Andalas be moved to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), a 250-acre complex located within Way Kambas National Park in south Sumatra.

On 19 February 2007 Andalas arrived in Jakarta from Los Angeles after a round-the-world trip that included stops in Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur. When Andalas’ plane arrived in Jakarta, he was greeted by a welcoming ceremony presided over by the Indonesian Minster of Forestry and covered by every newspaper and television station in the country!  After clearing customs in Jakarta, Andalas took a 12-hour road trip to reach the sanctuary in Way Kambas, where a special “boma” – a pasture and paddock area – was waiting for him. During a two-month quarantine period, he was monitored hourly by veterinarians and keepers.

Andalas has adjusted well to life in Sumatra.  Adapting to the heat and humidity of the Indonesian rainforest, he shed some of the red-brown hair he had grown in the US.

In the SRS: After three months, Andalas was released into a big paddock where he has gradually been introduced to two young females, “Rosa” and “Ratu”, who live at the sanctuary. Although he was initially scared of the other rhinos and ran away when he heard them coming, Andalas soon began exhibiting typical rhino behaviours with his peers – kicking up dirt, feigning attack, chasing, and trampling bushes. 
At his zoo homes in the US, Andalas mostly ate ficus – a natural rhino food that was easily available. At the SRS, however, the rhinos are free to browse on numerous native plants available in their forest enclosures. At first, Andalas wasn’t used to all the variety, and so his keepers hand fed him browse mixed with fruit. But after nearly a year in the jungle, Andalas now loves native plants and readily finds browse himself.

Although the rhinos at the SRS live in large, fenced enclosures, the sanctuary is located inside the forests of the national park, and many other animals often make guest appearances – another new experience for Andalas. Andalas is very interested in the other animals who visit his home, and has even been known to chase wild pigs!

Before moving to the sanctuary, Andalas didn’t know how to wallow in mud holes – a favorite activity of Sumatran rhinos in the wild. (Wallowing in mud allows rhinos to cool themselves, and a mud covering helps protect their skin from insects and diseases.) Andalas’ keepers had to show him how to wallow when he first arrived in the jungle, but this too has now become one of his preferred pastimes.

Future: Andalas is now sexually mature and has successfully bred with Ratu, with their first calf born on 23rd June 2012! There are high hopes that he will soon breed with the other females at the sanctuary, helping to ensure the future success of the SRS rhino population. 

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Andatu- Male Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Andatu is the first Sumatran rhino to be born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, marking a significant milestone for the captive breeding population within Indonesia.

Weighing just 27kg at birth, Andatu now weighs 260kg and continues to amaze his keepers with his growth and development. Andatu spends time in his forest enclosure under the watchful eye of his mother, Ratu, and follows her closely, observing her habits. He likes to join her in the wallow, and eats an impressive 12kg of food a day!

Andalas - Male Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Andalas, the first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in more than 112 years, is the living, breathing result of a groundbreaking research and breeding effort undertaken by American zoos, the Indonesian government, and the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. He is the first in a long line of Sumatran rhinos that hopefully will be bred in captivity and eventually introduced back into the wild to help bolster wild rhino populations.

Andalas now weighs over 1,600 pounds and has fully adapted to his life in the jungle at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. He loves making his own mud wallows to cool down, and has started foraging for plants and twigs himself, rather than always waiting for his keepers to feed him. Andalas has also grown into his role as the sanctuary’s primary breeding male, having reached sexual maturity sometime in early 2008.  Because Andalas’ early interactions with female rhinos were quite aggressive, the SRS staff worked hard to socialize Andalas to the female rhinos by feeding the rhinos their daily diets together through a fence in the central breeding area. After he learned to communicate well with the female rhinos, the keepers and vets began gradually introducing Andalas and female Ratu during appropriate times for breeding. Andalas finally began breeding with Ratu in December 2009, and after only three matings, Ratu became pregnant. Unfortunately she later miscarried the pregnancy – not an unusual occurrence with rhinos – but she and Andalas resumed breeding and successfully had their first calf born in June 2012!

Ratu - Female Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Estimated to be born in 1999, Ratu is the second youngest female Sumatran rhino living at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Unlike the other rhinos at the sanctuary, Ratu (whose name means “queen”) was actually born in Way Kambas National Park, the protected area where the sanctuary is located.

Because she presumably had some experience with male rhinos while living in the wild, Ratu was chosen to be the primary breeding female with the sanctuary’s young male, Andalas. In December 2009, Andalas began successfully mating with Ratu.  The breeding followed months of gradual introduction by scent, sound, sight, and finally, physical proximity.

After just three matings, Ratu fell pregnant. She later miscarried- not unusual in sumatran rhino pregnancies- but fell pregnant again soon after and successfully gave birth to her first calf 'Andatu' in June 2012!

Rosa - Female Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

The name of 'Rosa' was given by Zen Afrial - the RPU member who developed a very close relationship with this unique rhino. Rosa was observed closely and protected by a special team of RPU until she was moved to SRS. Inspired by the Rose flower, the name of 'Rosa' was chosen when Zen observed her one night under a full moon. 

Rosa adapted well to her life at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, and still exhibits all of the behaviours that make her so unique. Because she is so habituated to humans, Rosa regularly takes long walks in the forest with sanctuary staff. She is a particularly loud rhino, and often vocalizes, especially when people are close by, or when her regular feeding time is approaching.  Rosa also likes to “sing” when she is happily wallowing in her mud holes.

Unfortunately though, because she is so habituated to humans, it seems that Rosa often prefers the company of her keepers to the company of other rhinos, even after she became mature. Rosa’s keepers have encouraged her to become more independent by giving her more time alone in the forest, and now she often chooses to remain in the forest even when they come near (rather than always standing at the fence and “calling” for her keepers as she used to do). Rosa is sometimes afraid of the male rhino and often tries to run away when he approaches her. The SRS staff continue to work hard to socialize Rosa with the other rhinos at the sanctuary, so that she will begin breeding soon. Scientists are currently looking at artificial insemination techniques for this species of which Rosa will be a good candidate for.

Bina - Female Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Bina is the oldest female at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) estimated to be born around 1985. She has been at the SRS  its inception in 1998.

Of all the rhinos at the sanctuary, Bina is the most shy and solitary, but she does get along well with people, and with the other rhinos. Because of her advanced age, Bina is now nearly post-reproductive, although she is still very interested in the male rhinos at the sanctuary. She often becomes aggressive and begins snorting loudly if she sees or hears another female with one of the male rhinos. Unfortunately she has not been able to produce a calf, however, Bina has made important contributions to the breeding program and continues to help educate people about Sumatran rhinos.