Asian Rhino Projectx

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.

About Bina

Capture: The older Sumatran Rhinos that are in the captive breeding program were taken from areas where the natural forest was quickly being cleared for commercial plantations and villages. These 'stranded' or ‘doomed’ Rhinos were captured with sophisticated pitfall traps that are constructed so that the animal cannot get hurt and can remain in the pit long enough to construct a small holding pen on the spot.

Life history: Bina was one of the last animals to be captured in May 1991 under the second phase of the program funded by the Sumatran Rhino Trust, a consortium of USA zoos that worked to rescue the ‘doomed’ rhinos.

When Bina was rescued, she was full-grown, but probably not very old. She had not yet bred in the wild as later on it was found that her hymen was still intact, and therefore, she was most likely less than 7 years old at the time of capture. Her current age (2006) is estimated to be 20-22 years.

Bina was moved to a Safari Park near Bogor on the island of Java in September 1991 where she joined a male, Romi, and another female, Dalu. During Bina's years in the park, a few attempts were made to pair her with Romi, but most of the time the animals were kept separately, because male and female Sumatran rhinos are naturally solitary animals and can be very aggressive to each other outside the breeding periods. Her female companion, Dalu, died in 1993, and the male, Romi, died in 1997, shortly before he was to be moved to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas.

In the SRS: In 1997, the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas was completed to house all the remaining rhinos in Indonesia under much more natural conditions. When construction of the SRS started, there were still 4 rhinos in Indonesian zoos, but by the time it was completed; only two remained, Bina and an old un-reproductive female, Dusun.

Bina was moved to the SRS on January 10, 1998, two days after male rhino Torgamba arrived from England. She adapted very well and spends her days wandering around in her 10 Ha yard and taking long rests in the mud wallows between feeding on the dense vegetation.

Bina has been in captivity for many years without being pregnant, a condition that often leads to pathology and infertility. However, she exhibits no obvious pathology in her reproductive tract and continues to cycle, though irregularities are recorded . Bina has still remains an important part of the breeding program and the SRS team continues to monitor her regularly. Bina's health is excellent.

Future: Considering her advanced age and the continuing disturbances of her cyclicity one must assume that the time remaining to get Bina pregnant is short. She will continue to be paired with the breeding male.

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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.