The number of Sumatran Rhinoceros, found in the regencies of West Kutai and Mahakam Ulu, and East Kalimantan, is estimated to be only between 12-15. The Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of East Kalimantan’s Sunandar Trigunajasa said that poaching and habitat fragmentation have posed a significant threat to the rhinos in the wild. The rhinos are now so scarce that they are nearing extinction.
“Releasing rhinos into the wild is an important step to start saving the decreasing rhino population,” Sunandar stated. Earlier in West Kutai, Pahu, a female rhino from the Kelian Rhinoceros Conservation area was rescued after she got caught in a poacher’s trap and went through rehabilitation for three months. The rescue team is currently trying to find a male mate for Pahu in order to allow her to reproduce, to increase the number of rhinos.
“Pahu is not young anymore, she is estimated to be more than 25 years old. We will try to find a male rhino in Kalimantan who still roams in the wild, in order to increase the success of breeding,” said the Director General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation from the Environment and Forestry Ministry, Wiratno.
Image: The Jakarta Post