What’s in a name? Well, apparently for one particular species, it means hope for survival.
Harapan, or Hope (in english), an eight year old male Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) was ‘returned home’, last week. He was born from Ipuh (father) and Emi (mother) during captivity, at Cincinnati Zoo, USA. Harapan and two other rhinos, Suci and Andalas, were dubbed as the first generation Sumatran rhino to be born during captivity since 1889.
Andalas has already been sent home to Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia, on Feb.13, 2007. He was introduced to Ratu, female Sumatran rhino at the Park. It was apparently a perfect match as Andatu (short of Anugrah dari Tuhan or Blessing from God) was born in 2012.
(Just a small note : I was actually apprehensive to hear about the birth. Like seriously! Because, the record for birth on captivity was a bit low for Sumatran rhino. And, when I saw Andatu’s picture, he was a lovely baby *awwwww moment*)
Following this success, Harapan was returned home to mate. It’s a bit ridiculous to send away one rhino miles away just to mate. But, in reality, sumatran rhino has the most depressing population number. A minimum of 120 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, spread to Way Kambas National Park (30 rhinos) , Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (45 rhinos), and Leuser National Park (37 rhinos).
Ministry of Environment and Forestry recently added eight Sumatra rhinos were found in Kutai Barat district of East Kalimantan (How did they get there? Beats me….)
Harapan is expected to mate with one of female Sumatran rhino at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS). (PS : No names have been disclosed by the government on who’s going to be his mate. I suppose they’re going to leave it to Harapan to decide :D)
Talk about being single and its pressure to have off springs. It’s that or vanished into the drawing books for children.
I suppose it’s understandable that Indonesia is in a lot of hot water to save its biodiversity. Rhinos, once I was told, are not easy to mate. They need time to be ‘acquainted’ then mate. Even so, to getting pregnant is also demand for a good and supporting environment. And, you can only get one baby rhino at a time. Rhinos are not cats or dogs with dozens of kittens or pups (obviously).
It is why not much Rhino left in the world. They are easily got sick but they don’t breed often.
Nevertheless, as Winston Churchill said ‘Never, Never, Never Give Up’. There’s always Hope. Welcome home, Harapan!