Asian Rhino Projectx

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!

About Ratu

Capture: Ratu was caught because she had wandered outside of Way Kambas National Park, presumably pushed out by activities of large groups of fisherman active in the Park. When attempts to drive her back into the Park failed, because of the intense interest of the population, it was decided to rescue her and move her to the SRS.

Life history: On Tuesday 20 September 2005 it was reported that a Sumatran rhino was seen in the neighbourhood of Braja Asri village at 04:00 AM, about 800 m from the boundary of the Way Kambas NP. The rhino later moved to in Plangkawati village, desa Labuhan Ratu VII (1700 m from the boundary of the reserve). Park staff and personnel from conservation NGOs attempted to salvage the rhino by guiding it back into the NP.

Because driving the rhino back to the reserve proved to be not possible, with the rhino moving in random directions, it was decided to constrain the rhino to be captured and moved to the SRS for protection.

In the afternoon the rhino was guided into a transport crate and loaded onto a transport truck for transport to the SRS, where it was moved into on of the holding pens. Later a temporary boma was constructed for Ratu.

In the SRS: During the first days in SRS, Ratu was evidently suffered from significant capture-related myopathy and hind-limb lameness, associated with the stress and running at the time of capture. She was also severely sunburned and was reluctant to eat, although she did drink well. Ratu was in relatively good body condition, but she is of small stature and comparatively light (478 kg). From day 3 Ratu started to move and walk better, though she continued to show lameness on the left hind limb for several weeks. She also started to drink much better and consume large quantities of browse by herself.

Gradually Ratu was adapted with the situation in the SRS like the other rhinos. The lameness of her hind leg resolved and her walk become normal in June 2006. Ratu is healthy and demonstrates normal rhino behaviors. Her body weight is has increased to about 540 kg.

Ratu met the sanctuaries old male Torgamba for the first time in June 2006. He recently became deceased due to old age in 2011.

Ratu became pregnant to the current breeding male 'Andalas' in January 2010 – the first pregnancy at the SRS! Unfortunately, Ratu later miscarried which is not unusual for a rhino’s first pregnancy. While all of us were saddened by the loss, achieving a pregnancy confirms that the Sumatran rhino breeding program is progressing. Emi, Andalas’ mother, lost a number of pregnancies early in gestation before she carried one to term at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Experience and information gained with Emi will be used to help Ratu sustain her next pregnancy.

Ratu recovered very well from the miscarriage with no negative health issues, and in 2011 she bred with Andalas again. This time Ratu gave birth to a beautiful, healthy male calf "Andatu" on Saturday 23rd June 2012!

Both Ratu and Andatu are doing extremely well! And we are all thrilled with this breeding milestone! Stay tuned for  more updates on Andatu's progress...

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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.