In recognition of the difficulty of protecting wild populations, in 1984 the IUCN/SSC Asian Rhino Specialist Group recommended that a captive breeding programme be developed, thus establishing a dual approach to Sumatran rhino conservation: protecting wild populations through the Rhino Protection Units and running a breeding programme at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) within a semi-natural environment in Way Kambas National Park.
It ran from 11:16 AM, 6 December 2011 to 4:22 PM, 21 March 2013
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1035072)
The SRS was developed to accommodate the few remaining rhinos living in isolation in zoos and to increase breeding opportunities. The SRS generates interdisciplinary scholarly knowledge about the basic biology of the Sumatran rhino, using an integrated approach incorporating reproductive biology, nutrition, behaviour, immunology, veterinary medicine, and other disciplines. The sanctuary is the first and only major global propagation centre for Sumatran rhinos and encloses 100 hectares (247 acres) of native rainforest habitat for propagation, research and education purposes. Facilities include a large, fenced enclosure of native forest for each of the five rhinos; a large, fenced central breeding area with observation posts; a guard post; a small visitor and education centre; and very basic barracks, meeting rooms, and veterinary facilities for use by SRS staff. The Sanctuary is home to five animals since the 2007 arrival of captive-born Andalas. It is hoped that he will breed with two rescued young, healthy females living at the facility. Sumatran rhinos have been very difficult to breed, but in recent years, the Cincinnati Zoo has been very successful in breeding the species, and is working very closely with the SRS by offering in-kind technical as well as financial support. The two young female rhinos at the SRS have now reached sexual maturity, as has Andalas, the young male. The rhinos are regularly being introduced to each other, Andalas just recently mated with one of the females for the first time, staff have high hopes for a successfully pregnancy within the next couple of years. All female rhino are given an ultrasound on a regular and routine basis to establish optimal breeding times and as educational and research evidence. The SRS is vital in the dual approach to Sumatran rhino conservation and is in need of funds, specifically browse and non-browse food, which is purchased and / or collected from local sources by local workers. Medicines, such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, are needed to treat routine health matters, such as parasites, skin infections, and other disorders. The animal facilities, such as holding yards, need routine upkeep and repair in order to keep the rhinos secure, and to keep out local elephant populations.
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