Sumatran Rhino Born

Posted March 31, 2022
Sumatran rhino calf
Image courtesy of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

Sumatran Rhino Born 10,000 Miles Away has Cincinnati Roots

Grandsire of newborn calf was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001

CINCINNATI, OH (March 31, 2022) – One week ago today, a female Sumatran rhino calf was born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS), 10,000 miles away from Cincinnati.  There are only 80 of these magnificent little, hairy rhinos left in the world, so one more is something to celebrate.  Only six have been born in a managed breeding situation in the last century, and the first of those was born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in 2001.  His name is Andalas, and he is the grandsire of the new calf!

“Andalas’ birth was the turning point for a breeding program that for years had failed. His contributions to his species’ survival escalated after U.S. zoos made the difficult but right decision in 2007 to send him to Indonesia to catalyze Sumatra’s struggling breeding program,” said Dr. Terri Roth, Director of Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) and the scientist whose research led to the births of Andalas and his two siblings. “A few years after his arrival, he sired the first calf ever born at SRS (with female Ratu). That calf, Andatu, is the father of the baby born last week.”

The recent birth is significant for many reasons. This is the first Sumatran rhino born from a parent that was also born at SRS and introduces much-needed genetic diversity from the dam, Rosa, who had not until now reproduced and had lost eight pregnancies before delivering this calf.   Learn more about the historic birth in this announcement from the International Rhino Foundation.  Cincinnati Zoo’s expert Sumatran rhino caregiver, Paul Reinhart, was once again invited to the SRS to assist if necessary, making Paul the only person to witness all six Sumatran rhino calf births in the history of the program.

“This momentous event makes Andalas a grandsire at just 21 years of age and augments the Cincinnati Zoo’s legacy in the effort to save this critically imperiled species,” said Roth. “With so few individuals thought to exist in the wild, the SRS breeding program has become the focal point for saving the species from extinction.”

There are now a total of eight Sumatran rhinos at SRS. In addition to Andalas, Ratu, Rosa, Andatu, and the new calf, there’s six-year-old female Delilah, the second offspring of Andalas and Ratu, and an older female named Bina. The other eligible bachelor is Andalas’ brother Harapan, who came to SRS from Cincinnati Zoo in 2015.

“The SRS team is hoping to breed Harapan to Delilah this year, so we look forward to updates on their progress,” said Dr. Roth. “So many people remember seeing Harapan at the Cincinnati Zoo prior to his long journey to Sumatra in 2015, and he is still beloved from afar.”