fbpx

US zoo sending endangered rhino to Indonesia to mate

CINCINNATI—A zoo that has the last Sumatran rhino in the United States on Tuesday announced plans to send him to Southeast Asia on a mission to mate and help preserve his critically endangered species.

Conservation experts at the Cincinnati Zoo say 8-year-old Harapan could be on his way within several weeks to Indonesia, where nearly all of the estimated 100 remaining Sumatran rhinos live. Numbers of the two-horned descendants of Ice Age wooly rhinos have fallen by some 90 percent since the mid-1980s, as development of their Southeast Asia forest habitat and poachers seeking their prized horns took their toll.

Cincinnati’s zoo has been a pioneer in breeding the species, also called “hairy rhinos,” producing the first three born in captivity in modern times. Harapan will join the eldest, Andalas, who has been in Indonesia since 2007 and has produced one male offspring. Andalas will turn 14 next month. Roth said final details and permits are still being worked out so the transfer timetable is uncertain. It’s expected Harapan will be flown to Jakarta, then taken by ferry to his ancestral island home of Sumatra.

Bambang Dahono Adji, director of biodiversity conservation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said preparations are under way at a rhino sanctuary at Way Kambas National Park in southern Sumatra, and hopefully Harapan will arrive by early October at the latest.

Indonesia has said it does not want to be dependent on other countries in conservation efforts by sending rhinos to be bred abroad. However, it says it welcomes any technological or scientific assistance for the Sumatran rhino-breeding program.Veteran zoo rhino keeper Paul Reinhart will accompany Harapan. He and others will work with the rhino, who already has traveled across the US, to condition him to being in a crate for the long flight.

Harapan and Andalas’s sister, Suci, died from illness last year at the zoo, after the Cincinnati conservationists had discussed trying to mate the siblings in a desperation move.

Dahono from Indonesia’s environment and forestry ministry said Suci may have died because her diet at the zoo contained too much iron, and expressed concern that Harapan could face the same fate. “The conclusion of experts is that Harapan has to be saved,” Dahono said. “Therefore, we are insisting on getting Harapan back to its original habitat here rather than having it live alone there.”

Total
0
Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Article

Mount Makiling run promotes biodiversity conservation

Next Article

Scientists squabble while Africa’s penguins perish

Related Posts

Read more

ACB: There’s high hopes for mangroves in Asean

“Uncertain future looms for Philippine, Southeast Asian mangroves,” said the headline of a news release from University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Science (UPD-CS) scientists, who conducted a comprehensive survey of over 300 mangrove studies across the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Read more

First Gen, Climate Change Commission forge ties to help LGUs with their climate action plans

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and First Gen Corporation (First Gen) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to support local government units (LGUs) in mainstreaming climate change and accessing the People’s Survival Fund (PSF).

The ceremonial signing was led by CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director (VCED) Robert E.A. Borje and First Gen President and Chief Operating Officer Francis Giles B. Puno.

The partnership aims to capacitate representatives from Maria Aurora, Aurora; Pantabangan and Carrangalan in Nueva Ecija; Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya; Lobo, Batangas; Caramoan and Garchitorena in Camarines Sur; Baungon, Impasug-ong, Libona, Manolo Fortich, and Talakag in Bukidnon; and Jabonga in Agusan del Norte in enhancing Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) including updated climate and disaster risk assessments and greenhouse gas inventory, and developing PSF project proposals.

As of 19 January 2023, 1,399 out of 1,715 LGUs (81.57%) have submitted their LCCAPs to the CCC. Through partnerships and capacity-building initiatives, the Commission hopes to achieve 100% compliance by 2024.

This collaboration forms part of both the CCC and First Gen’s shared advocacy for strengthening local communities’ resilience to climate change and its impacts.

“Our LGUs, down to the barangays, are at the frontlines of climate change and its impacts. They need all the help they can get to have a fighting chance, but they also need transformation. We don’t want them to just adapt, we want them to thrive and grow, and this particular agreement—through formulation of eLCCAPs and capacitating them to access the PSF—will exactly do that,” CCC VCED Borje emphasized.

“Our mission of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future simply means that we cannot do it alone. Signing an agreement with the Climate Change Commission is completely aligned with what our company is trying to do, in addressing an important challenge that’s ahead of us – climate change,” First Gen Pres. Puno highlighted.

The CCC and First Gen will also strengthen initiatives that involve key stakeholders to promote science- and evidence-based risk assessment and sustain climate-smart leadership and governance among the target beneficiaries.

“At the end of the day, we have to safeguard our national interests, which for us means, ‘Buhay, kabuhayan, at kinabukasan ang nakataya.’ That’s all we have to plan for, but it takes more than a village to do this. We need to work very closely together, and this partnership is key to making that happen,” VCED Borje underscored.

The MOA was signed Tuesday, 24 January 2023, at the Eugenio Lopez Center in Antipolo, Rizal, and joined by Atty. Carol Kay Paquera, CCC Chief-of-Staff; Shirley H. Cruz, Vice President and Chief-of-Staff; Ricky A. Carandang, Vice President for Corporate Communications; and Ramon Araneta, Vice President for External Affairs and Security of First Gen.

Following the MOA signing, seedlings of Narra, Ipil, Banuyo and Supa trees were planted at the BINHI Arboretum to kick-off the partnership. (CCC) (PIA)