In August of 2015, the Sumatran Rhinoceros population of Malaysia was declared extinct in the wild. It’s estimated that there are less than 100 wild Sumatran rhinos across Southeast Asia, scattered across Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Sabah. In captivity, there are only 9 individuals. With a gestation period of 15-16 months and complicated reproductive patterns, it’s usually more difficult for Sumatran rhinos to conceive and successfully carry a calf in captivity than in the wild. Until recently, many captive breeding programs have failed miserably, ultimately resulting in more deaths than births.
The last Sumatran Rhino in the United States, a male named Harapan, is currently being moved from the Cincinnati Zoo to a breeding center in Indonesia to hopefully continue the conservation of this critically endangered species, and possibly help bring them back from the brink. With the right action and protection, other species may also be saved from extinction, but it’s a difficult road and one that cannot be traveled alone.
Read more about this species and conservation efforts:
ConservationFun factsNewsWwf