Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Photo by Paul Fahy
Sumatra's newest rhino calf explores her forest home

Today I had the privilege of meeting a little rhino calf that is bringing hope to a species on the edge.

The female Sumatran Rhino, who is still waiting on her official name, was born on 12 May at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in the heart of Way Kambas National Park.

Just two months old, the calf already weighs over 100 kilograms and is very confident and eager to explore her forest home under the watchful eye of mother Ratu and the Sanctuary’s dedicated team of keepers and vets.

With only 100 Sumatran Rhinos clinging to existence in pockets across Indonesia’s largest island, this calf has a big role to play in ensuring the survival of her critically endangered species.

We have an important role to play too and I’m here in the Sumatran jungle with a group of Australian business leaders, charity supporters and Taronga Centenary Ambassadors on a mission to raise vital funds to protect species such as the Sumatran Rhino, Asian Elephant, Sun Bear and Sumatran Tiger in the wild.

Taronga supports the work here in Way Kambas, funding Wildlife Protection Units and working with the local communities that live on the edge of the park to help create sustainable employment.

Over the next few days, we will join a Wildlife Protection Unit, setting camera traps, planting trees and carrying out patrols with anti-poaching rangers in the National Park. These incredible rangers spend over 20 days a month away from their families, trekking through jungle, sleeping rough and dealing with the threat of poachers, to protect wildlife.

We’ll also get a first-hand look at the amazing work being done at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary with the support of our partners, the International Rhino Foundation in Indonesia.

Caring for seven Sumatran Rhinos, including an adventurous little calf, is a 24-hour-a-day operation. Keepers are locals who work seven days at the station and then have two days back with their families, while vets can be here for up to a month at a time.

This adventure is a rare chance to visit Sumatra at a pivotal time in the eco-history of this remarkable island and directly support conservation at the same time.

I truly believe in the important work Taronga does across Australia and around the world. With tangible outcomes in the wild, we are helping to bring species back from the brink of extinction. This is why I have decided to personally fundraise for this challenge.

All funds raised will support our conservation efforts in Sumatra, so we can share the joy and inspiration animals like the Sumatran Rhino bring to us in decades to come.

You can lend your support at:

- Cameron Kerr, Taronga CEO

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