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Podcast: She’s here! Rare Sumatran rhino calf born at rhino sanctuary

Rosa and her child. Image courtesy of Indonesia's Environment and Forestry Ministry.

  • Indonesia’s environment ministry in March reported the birth of a Sumatran rhino calf.
  • This calf is the first one born in captivity in nearly six years, stoking optimism for the captive-breeding program in Sumatra’s Way Kambas National Park.
  • This bonus episode of the Mongabay Explores podcast features senior staff writer Basten Gokkon on the still-unnamed female rhino calf, and what this means for the future of this critically endangered mammal.

For this bonus episode of the Mongabay Explores Podcast, we speak with Mongabay senior staff writer for Indonesia Basten Gokkon about the significance of the recent birth of a Sumatran rhino in captivity, and what this means for the prospects of the critically endangered species. Listen here:

The Sumatran rhino is a critically endangered mammal, with no more than 80 individuals believed to remain in the wild. Poaching and habitat loss due to forest degradation for extractive industries such as palm oil have pushed the species to the brink of extinction.

A new Sumatran rhino calf born in Way Kambas sanctuary. Image courtesy of Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Ministry.

Related Reading:

Previous conversations on the Mongabay Explores podcast include a conversation with conservation biologist Wulan Pusparini and author Jeremy Hance about the conservation challenges that scientists and experts have been struggling with for decades. Listen to that conversation here:

Mongabay hosted a follow-up conversation with Pusparini to discuss “search and rescue” efforts to capture rhinos from unviable wild populations and move them into a captive-breeding program. Listen to that conversation here:

Mongabay Explores is an episodic podcast about the world’s unique places and species. Each season dives into new areas of amazing natural heritage, their environmental challenges and conservation solutions. The most recent season explored the great biodiversity and cultural richness of New Guinea. If you missed this seven-part series you can listen to each episode here.

If you enjoy Mongabay’s podcasts, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at Just a dollar or more per month helps us offset production costs and hosting fees, and can help us create special series like Mongabay Explores.

Subscribe to Mongabay Explores on SpotifyAppleGoogle, or wherever you get podcasts. Listen to all of the Mongabay Explores podcast episodes via the Mongabay website here.

Banner Image: Rosa and her child. Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Mike DiGirolamo is Mongabay’s audience engagement associate. Find him on Twitter @MikeDiGirolamo, Instagram, or TikTok via @midigirolamo.