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Last Sumatran Rhino in Western Hemisphere Moving to Indonesia

posted: 08/26/15
by: Danny Clemens
Sumatran rhions in Cinci
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Harapan and his mother, Emi, in 2008.
Charles W. Hardin via Flickr

The final Sumatran rhinoceros in the Western Hemisphere is leaving the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Harapan, an eight-year-old male, will be relocated to Indonesia's Way Kambas National Park to mate.

Experts estimate that there are fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos remaining, all in small, splintered populations throughout Southeast Asia. Thus, breeding programs are integral to the survival of the species.

Related: Sumatran Rhinos Now Extinct in Malaysia

"Despite the great personal sadness so many of us feel both about Harapan leaving and Cincinnati Zoo's Sumatran rhino breeding program coming to an end, we need to focus on all we have accomplished, for there is much to celebrate," Terri Roth, Director of the Zoo's Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife, said in a news release.

"The Cincinnati Zoo has had a profound, historic impact on the effort to save this species."

In 2001, researchers at the Cincinnati Zoo successfully produced the first Sumatran rhino calf born in captivity in over a century. Like Harapan, several of the rhinos born at the zoo have been transferred to facilities in Indonesia for breeding purposes.

The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is said to be one of the most endangered animals on earth. Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, the animal has fallen victim to severe poaching and habitat destruction in recent decades.

Learn more about rhinos:

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A Secret Rhino Gathering
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