The Sumatran rhino, is the only Asian rhino have two horns. The Sumatran rhino is also known to have much hair when compared to the entire sub-species of rhino in the world, so often called hairy rhino. Other characteristics are large ears, skin grayish brown or reddish, mostly covered with hair and wrinkles around its eyes.
The long of frontal horn typically range from 25 cm – 80 cm, while the rear horn is usually relatively shorter and no more than 10 cm. When the children of Sumatran rhino birth to adolescence, usually its skin being covered by thick hair is reddish brown. Along with the increasing age of this animal, the hair that covered its skin will be more rare and turns black. The adult animal’s body length ranges between 2-3 meters with a height of 1 – 1.5 meter. Its weight is estimated to range between 600 kg – 950 kg.
Sumatran rhino habitat includes lowland swamp forests to forest hills, though generally rare animals are very fond of forest with very dense vegetation. Sumatran rhinos are the explorers and fruit eaters (particularly wild mango and fikus), leaves, twigs and bark. They prefer the lowlands, especially in secondary forests where there are many low-growing food source. Sumatran rhinos remain in the wild in small groups and is generally aloof (solitary).
The Sumatran rhino is a rhino that has the smallest size compared to all sub-species of rhino in the world. According to the Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (MoF, 2007), the wild population is currently estimated at less than 300 individuals. Nonetheless, there are indications that show the number of actual population is lower than these estimates. These animals were categorized as a critically endangered species. The largest population and the most adequate possible to breed (viable) are currently in Sumatra, while the smaller population found in Sabah and Peninsular of Malaysia.
Experts predict none of the Sumatran rhino population is the number of individuals within the ranges exceeding 75 rhinos. The condition causes large mammals are vulnerable to extinction either due to natural disasters, disease, hunting, or genetic defects. Less than 25 animals believed to currently survive in Sabah, while for Kalimantan, there is no accurate information or data about the existence of this two-horned animal.
Loss of habitat and poaching are the main threats to the survival of the Sumatran rhino. So that these animals were able to survive, it takes serious efforts to save the forest habitat in Sumatra, where most of the Sumatran rhino population is now located. In addition, efforts to stop the trade in rhino horn and other products derived from the protected wildlife body have to be done immediately, so that incentives for hunters who target the body parts of the Sumatran rhino can be reduced.
Over the years, the Sumatran rhino poaching for their horns taken as well as other body parts, usually believed to be a drug of traditional substance , has resulted in the reduction in the animal population. At present, the loss of forest habitat is the main threat to the survival of Sumatran rhinos remaining.
The destruction of forests accompanied by various activities that are not sustained by humans has led to increasingly threaten the Sumatran rhino population to extinction. With a population that is getting smaller and the high rate of deforestation that causes fragmented forest in boxes isolated, then in some cases, Sumatran rhinoceros were reported out of the forest and into the fields of population in search of food. In Bukit Barisan National Park, the main threat to the habitat of the Sumatran rhino is encroachment into coffee plantations and other agricultural crops. Along with the opening of the forest so quickly and increase open access to locations within the park, then comes a more serious threat: the hunt.
Protection of the Sumatran Rhino
In Indonesia, the Sumatran rhino is protected in national parks in Sumatra, such as in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP). In this National Park, The Sumatran rhino population is probably only 60 to 80 rhinos. The amount represents the 2nd largest population in the world. In addition, these unique animals are also often found in the jungle of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park and Way Kambas National Park is also located in Sumatra.
Not only in Indonesia, the Sumatran rhino can already be found in some zoos in some countries. As Zoo in Copenhagen, Hamburg, London, and Calcutta. Delivery seven Sumatran rhinos have been tried, from the island of Sumatra in the United States. Unfortunately, in 1997 only third behind only scattered Star Gardens Bronx (a female), Los Angeles Zoo (a female), and the Zoo of Cincinnati (a stud). Seeing these conditions, it was decided that the three gathered in the Zoo in Cincinnati.