SOUTHEAST ASIAN BLOGGERS NETWORK

Monday, January 21, 2008

SUMATRAN RHINO: The World's Most Special Rhino







Can you imagine a Rhino that can swim rivers and seas? They are known to be the “assault tanks” of the animal kingdom but have the agility of a deer? Whoa! This Rhino can run up and down steep hills and slopes, maneuver in the forest with great stealth and loves mangoes!

This is the Sumatran Rhinocerosthe world’s smallest living rhino and one of the world’s rarest mammals! It is said that only 300 of them are left in the wild.

In the early 1900s, these beautiful creatures used to roam the whole of Southeast Asia to the Himalayas in Bhutan, to eastern India, through Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. But now, they can only be found in Indonesia and Malaysia; in small packets of rainforests in Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo. These are the last of the Hairy Rhinocerostheir common name.

They are small, hairy, gray-brown and has 2 horns. They are in fact the only Asian Rhino with 2 horns. Their legs are covered with reddish-brown hair and stands 4’5” tall when fully matured. Baby Sumatran Rhinos are almost completely covered in fur!



The Sumatran Rhino is the most special of all rhino species.
Why? Because they are the most ancient and pre-historic of all 5 species in the world. They first emerge 15 million years ago and closely related to the Woolly Rhino but not to modern species. They are living fossils!

The life span of captive rhinos is around 35 years. Captive breeding was set up by Indonesian and Malaysian governments but not very successful. They were declared critically endangered by IUCN in 1996. The number of Sumatran rhinos has declined 50% due to poaching in the last 10 years.


Save our rainforests. Save the Sumatran Rhino.

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*Photo credits: National Geographic, WWF

2 Comments:

curbside_puppet said...

i learned a few things thru this post. I never thought there were hairy rhinos. And that a rhino can have two horns. do they run fast? it was cute that you mentioned that this animal loves mangoes! very south east asian!

danyhael said...

good thing there's natgeo in my cable.

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