In late fall 2019, Sumatran Rhino Rescue partners, the International Rhino Foundation, announced the expansion of the Way Kambas Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia. By providing a home to relocated Sumatran rhinos, the sanctuary is critical to securing the future of the species and saving it from extinction. The expansion of this sanctuary will provide a home for more rescued rhinos and support the Indonesian government’s national breeding program to help the species survive for generations to come.
The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and Yayasan Badak Indonesia (YABI) worked closely with national and local government officials in Indonesia to secure approval for the expansion of the sanctuary. Now, the Way Kambas SRS has increased its capacity and can hold an additional five rhinos. The Way Kambas SRS, built in 1996 by IRF and YABI, currently houses seven Sumatran rhinos. The expansion of the Way Kambas SRS began before the inception of the Sumatran Rhino Rescue, but it will play an important role in the alliance’s work to save this species.
The Sumatran rhino has lived throughout Southeast Asia for millennia, but in the past century, its population has been nearly erased as a result of poaching and habitat loss. Today, there are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the world. Hanging on to existence in 10 fragmented subpopulations across two islands, this rhino is so rare that few people have ever seen one in the wild. Separated by mountainous terrain, isolated Sumatran rhinos now struggle to find mates in the wild.
The plight of the Sumatran rhino was brought into sharp focus last year with the passing of Malaysia’s last known Sumatran rhino, Iman. Iman’s death underscores the urgency of the global community’s efforts to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction. With the only known remaining Sumatran rhinos living in Indonesia, Sumatran Rhino Rescue is committed to continuing our work to support the Government of Indonesia’s Emergency Action Plan to save this species.
Launched on World Rhino Day 2018, Sumatran Rhino Rescue is a groundbreaking, collaborative approach for conservation that brings together the government of Indonesia, leading international conservation organizations, supporters from around the world, and local experts and conservation practitioners to unite breeding efforts under one coordinated program to save the species from extinction. The effort includes working with experts on the ground in Indonesia as well as breeding specialists from around the world with extensive experience working with Sumatran rhinos and other rhino species.
Learn more about Sumatran Rhino Rescue and how you can help save the Sumatran rhino at sumatranrhinorescue.org.