Endagered rhino travels from Ohio to Indonesia An 8-year-old male Sumatran rhino named Harapan (hope) walks inside a cage at Way Kambas National Park on Sumatra Island Indonesia, Thursday, Nov 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)
Endagered rhino travels from Ohio to Indonesia
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A U.S.-born male Sumatran rhino has arrived in his ancestral home of Indonesia, making the long journey from Cincinnati, Ohio, on a mission to mate to help save his critically endangered species from extinction.
 
The 8-year-old rhino, Harapan, was born at Cincinnati's zoo and spent nearly the past two years as the last Sumatran rhino in the Western Hemisphere.
 
He arrived at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport Nov. 1 in a special travel crate aboard a Cathay Pacific jet. He continued his trip in a truck to the seaport of Merak and was to be ferried to Sumatra Island.
 
"Thankfully, it has arrived here," said Bambang Dahono Adji, director of biodiversity conservation at Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry. He said Harapan would be "officially handed over" to Indonesian authorities Nov. 5 at Way Kambas National Park, where the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary is located.
 
The 1,800-pound rhino underwent medical checks and was trained to walk into and voluntarily remain in his crate before beginning the more than 10,000-mile trip, ending a captive breeding program for the species at the Cincinnati Zoo that had produced three rhinos.
 
Harapan was accompanied on his trip by a veteran Cincinnati Zoo animal keeper who was at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary when Harapan's older brother became a father there in 2012.
 
Conservationists hope Harapan can mate with one or more of the three females at Way Kambas, where Ratu, a 12-year-old female rhino born in the wild, is now pregnant with her second calf and is expected to give birth in May.
 
Ratu's first calf, a male named Andatu born in 2012, was the first Sumatran rhino born in an Asian breeding facility in more than 140 years. The father of both calves is Harapan's brother Andalas, who was returned to Indonesia in 2007.
 
Harapan and Andalas' sister, Suci, died from illness last year at the Cincinnati Zoo, leaving Harapan as the last Sumatran rhino in the Western Hemisphere.
 
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.
 
The Sumatran rhino is seriously threatened, with the species' numbers in Indonesia over the past 50 years decimated by rampant poaching for horns used in traditional Chinese medicines and destruction of forests by farmers, illegal loggers and palm oil plantation companies.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was training an important part of this process?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (31)
  • austinw-day
    11/06/2015 - 07:29 a.m.

    Training a 1800 pound rhino to voluntarily walk into it's crate for shipment, and stay in there, was one of the best ways to handle the situation. Imagine that big beast being shoved in the crate with no idea what is going on. Most likely if that did happen, the rhino would be very angry and very violent upon being released almost 10000 miles away from its last known location. That's just a death trap just waiting to happen.

  • holdenv-day
    11/06/2015 - 11:56 a.m.

    I think it's cool how animals know when they're endangered and what that means. they would do anything to help their species survive.they made a very long trip from ohio to indonesia. that is amazing. this was a great.

  • brandons-day
    11/07/2015 - 10:50 a.m.

    This is very sad that the species is struggling so much and has so few animals. It is amazing that they trained the rhino to walk in and out of the crate. I wonder how long it will take to properly repopulate the species. Considering they only have 1 rhino at a time it makes things difficult.

  • sierrab-ste
    11/09/2015 - 04:31 p.m.

    It was a really good idea to train this huge rhino to walk into its crate and stay in there for shipment. If the rhino would not have been trained and the people would have tried to just shove it in the crate it could have been super, super bad.

  • baylees-day
    11/12/2015 - 08:48 p.m.

    First off, I didn't know Rhinos had hair, in the picture it does. Anyways, this is good and sad, good because they can try to save the species to some extent. Sad, because its terrible humans have managed to basically kill off a species for our own self interest.

  • julianc-bag
    11/12/2015 - 10:52 p.m.

    Training is an important part of this process because if Sumatran wasn't trained before he entered the wild he wouldn't know how to look for food.

  • coled-fel
    11/18/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    CTQ: Training was an important part of this process because they could've fallen or walked out of their cages, getting loose and maybe would never be able to be found.

  • travisb-fel
    11/18/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    it is important to train rhinos before shipment because they are going to need to climb in the boxes and stay put. Like in the movie "Madagascar", the rhino could try to escape and end up in the ocean, somehow floating towards Madagascar with all of his friends. Then he will meet lemurs and penguins, that would be bad

    Moral of my response, Train animals before you send them on shipments.
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  • callans-fel
    11/18/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    Training is important to the process because if you train the rhino to stay put for the shipment. If the rhino is not trained, it will most likely hurt itself on the shipment.

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  • courtneyh-1-fel
    11/18/2015 - 02:13 p.m.

    Training is an important part of this process because they don't want to forces the rhino into the crate.

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