Rarest rhino caught on film wallowing in mud with calf

Jeremy Hance
March 06, 2009

In a scene that appears out of an old jungle movie, The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has caught the world’s rarest rhino on film. With less than 60 Javan rhinos estimated to exist in the wild, it is one of the world’s most imperiled species.

"These rhinos are very shy. In the last 20 years our team has only seen rhinos two or three times with their own eyes," WWF Asian rhino coordinator Christy Williams told AFP.

Using 34 spy cameras with infra-red triggers, which take video every time they sense movement, the WWF team was able to attain some startling footage of these mysterious animals, including one where an adult rhino chases away a warthog.

"The videos are showing a lot of young animals but not many calves so even though there is evidence of breeding it is not enough," Williams said. "A healthy rhino population should be increasing at about seven percent a year or about three or four calves, but here we are getting three or four calves every four or five years."

WWF is currently planning resettling a portion of the rhino population in another suitable region in Java to help their chances of long-term survival. Currently, there are no Javan rhinos in captivity.

"Action needs to be urgently taken because the rhino population has stagnated," Williams said.

Footage is available on the WWF channel of YouTube.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (March 06, 2009).

Rarest rhino caught on film wallowing in mud with calf.