Sumatran rhinos had been thought extinct from Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, and hadn’t been physically encountered in the area for 40 years. But on Tuesday, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced the safe capture of a female Sumatran rhino there, in what the group calls “a major milestone for rhino conservation in Indonesia.”
The rhino is thought to be between four and five years old. It was captured safely in a pit trap in Kutai Barat in East Kalimantan on March 12. The animal is being held in a temporary enclosure before it is airlifted via helicopter to a more secure place about 93 miles (150 kilometers) away.
There, the rare rhino will be better protected from poachers in what officials hope will become the second Sumatran rhino sanctuary in Indonesia. At least three other animals are expected to be moved there in the near future, in the hopes of starting a more stable breeding population.
photo: Ari Wobowo, WWF-Indonesia