New Sumatran rhino mama filmed giving birth and nursing

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
June 25, 2012



On early Saturday morning, scientists were elated when first-time Sumatran rhino mother, Ratu, gave birth to a healthy male calf. The birth was filmed with footage also taken of the little tike—with massive eyes—nursing (see videos below). The new calf gives hope to a species on the very brink of extinction.

"We are overjoyed that Ratu delivered a healthy calf, and cautiously optimistic that the calf will continue to thrive," said Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation, said in a press release. "The little guy is absolutely adorable and none of us has been able to stop smiling since the moment we were sure he was alive and healthy."

The newborn is the offspring of a wild Sumatran rhino, Ratu, and a male that was born in captivity in the U.S. The new baby is only the fourth Sumatran rhino born in captivity in the past century, and the first one to be born in Indonesia.

"We have been waiting for this moment since the sanctuary was built in 1998. The International Rhino Foundation is honored to play an important role in protecting rhinos. We are hopeful the Sumatran rhino population will thrive once again," Ellis adds.

The new baby has been named, Andatu, which combines his father's name Andalas and his mother's name Ratu. The name also refers to "Anugerah Dari Tuhan," which in Indonesian Bahasa means 'A Gift from God.'

"[Ratu] gave birth after two hours of second-stage labor and several days of restlessness. The calf stood in about an hour and began nursing almost immediately," head veterinarian Dr. Dedi Candra said. "Ratu is a very good mother."

Sumatran rhinos are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Scientists believe less than 200 may survive. Decimated by habitat loss and poaching, the remaining survivors are now most threatened by their low population and fertility problems.



For more on the birth of Andatu: Historic birth for the Sumatran rhino























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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (June 25, 2012).

New Sumatran rhino mama filmed giving birth and nursing .

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0625-hance-rhino-birth.html