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. The rhino made the long journey from Cincinnati, Ohio. The animal is on a mission to mate. He could help save his critically endangered species from extinction.
 
The 8-year-old rhino is Harapan. He was born at Cincinnati's zoo. He 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. The rhino traveled in a special travel crate. It was flown aboard a Cathay Pacific jet. He continued his trip in a truck to the seaport of Merak. He then was to be ferried to Sumatra Island.
 
"Thankfully, it has arrived here," said Bambang Dahono Adji. He is 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. It will happen at Way Kambas National Park. That is where the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary is located.
 
The 1,800-pound rhino underwent medical checks.  And he was trained to walk into and willingly remain in his crate before beginning the more than 10,000-mile trip. His trip ended a captive-breeding program for the species at the Cincinnati Zoo. The program had produced three rhinos.
 
A veteran Cincinnati Zoo animal keeper went with Harapan on his trip. The zookeeper 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. That's where Ratu, a 12-year-old female rhino born in the wild, is now pregnant with her second calf. She should give birth in May.
 
Ratu's first calf was a male named Andatu.  It was born in 2012.  The calf 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. He was returned to Indonesia in 2007.
 
Harapan and Andalas' sister, Suci, died from illness last year at the Cincinnati Zoo. Her death left 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.  Over the past 50 years, the species' numbers in Indonesia have been greatly reduced by rampant poaching for horns used in traditional Chinese medicines. They have also been reduced by 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 (42)
  • brookem-1-bar
    11/06/2015 - 01:45 a.m.

    Training is an important part of this process because you need to be trained for the animal. It could be dangerous if it senses harm.Training is also important because the handlers need experience. If anything were to go wrong the rhino would be extinct.

    I found this article interesting because I wondered how would you move a rhino on an airplane? Wouldn't it get sick.

    • noahm-jac
      11/16/2015 - 12:54 p.m.

      @brookem-1-bar I agree with your statement it would take training and it is a important part of this process and if the rhino was uncomfortable it would probably run away from whoever is training him/her.

  • austeng-war
    11/06/2015 - 08:39 a.m.

    For Harapan it was probably a rough go, but in his move from his home in Cincinnati, Ohio he not only helped stop the extinction of his species, but continued a legacy. These incredible animals have gone through the most terrible times facing poaching for their horns, and deforestation losing their homes, etc. For them such like Harapan and Ratu it is amazing to see them roaming this enormous earth still special to their own, and for those who came to together to replenish this species is absolutely amazing.

  • levenicel-Orv
    11/06/2015 - 01:16 p.m.

    Rip to the female rhino that died from illness. i cant belive hope walk 10,000 mile to indonesia i just can belive rhino are in endangered they are such amazing animals and i like they horns me and my brother look up videos p tem fightng with there horns we need to find a way to keep these amazing animals endangered

  • meharvans1-lin
    11/06/2015 - 02:39 p.m.

    I think training was an important part of the process because if the rhino didn't get trained, it wouldn't know how to walk and would be aggressive to people because he wouldn't learn the human language.

  • simonet-lin
    11/06/2015 - 02:52 p.m.

    As I was reading the article I understood how the wonderful Sumatran rhinos were about to be extinct. Why can't China just use other medicine instead? Why can't farmers just stop destroying forests? I understand how hard this process was. I think that training was an important part of this process because if they didn't train Harapan then he wouldn't know what to do in his crate.

  • John0724-YYCA
    11/06/2015 - 09:23 p.m.

    I think that the people in Sumatra Island were very mean to the poor little rhino because they shipped it in a crate which is just animal abuse right there. But I am just glad he got into a family who welcomes the rhino.

  • sayerf-buh
    11/07/2015 - 02:48 p.m.

    This article was about an endangered Rhino that traveled from Ohio to Indonesia, so that he could find a mate and possibly save his species.

    I think it is important that the rhino made the trip from Ohio to Indonesia so that he could find a mate and possibly save the species. I also think it is great that people care enough about a species of endangered rhino to put so much effort into helping him travel, so he can find a mate.

  • gabes-buc
    11/09/2015 - 09:17 a.m.

    How could they make that rhino travel all over the world?

  • chloef-buc
    11/09/2015 - 09:22 a.m.

    How many Sumatran rhinos are left in the world?

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