Thought to be extinct from Kalimantan, an area in the Indonesian part of Borneo, a female Sumatran Rhinoceros was discovered.
Thought to be around 4 to 5 years old, she was safely caught by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and will soon be translocated to a more secure area about 150 kilometers away. A proposed second Sumatran rhino sanctuary in Indonesia, this safe haven will expect to receive another three Sumatran rhinos to begin a stable breeding population.
“This is an exciting discovery and a major conservation success,” Efransjah Efransjah, the CEO of WWF-Indonesia, said in a statement. “We now have proof that a species once thought extinct in Kalimantan still roams the forests, and we will now strengthen our efforts to protect this extraordinary species.”
The Sumatran is the smallest of the world’s five species of rhino, featuring a dark reddish brown skin in contrast its cousins. Only about 100 are thought to be left in the wild.
Like the other rhino species, the Sumatran population has been decimated from poachers and habitat loss, and though its two horns are sizably smaller than the African rhinos, they are still prized possessions on the black market, in deference to the scientific evidence proving otherwise that rhinoceros horn does not have health benefits.
WWF Scientists have been patrolling the region for several years, managing to gather evidence in the form of footprints and one image via a camera trap, and with this estimated perhaps 15 Sumatran rhinos are left in the region.