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Sumatran Rhino

Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

The Sumatran Rhinoceros is a herbivorous browser that belongs to the order of the Perissodactyla and is one of the three species of Rhinos native to Asia. Its habitat is dense tropical rain forest and occurred from North-East India through Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and the Indonesian Islands of Borneo and Sumatra; hence its name. It is the most endangered species of rhino due to its rapid decline of more than 50% in the last 15 years. There are currently 275 Sumatran Rhinos left in fragmented populations throughout South East Asia. Current efforts to protect this species are through Rhino Protection Units, that patrol their current habitat and through (semi-) captive breeding programs. The Sumatran Rhino is the smallest of all Rhino species and is particularly hairy.

Sumatran Rhino General information

  • Weight:  1,300 – 2,000 lbs

  • Height (at shoulder):  3 -5 ft

  • Length (head and body):  6,5 -9,5 ft

  • Anterior Horn length:  10 in – 31 in

  • Posterior Horn length:  3 in

  • Lifespan: 30 to 45 years (record in captivity is 28 1/2 years)

  • Characteristics: only Asian rhino with two horns, tufted ears and hair reddish brown skin.

Sumatran Rhino Behavior

  • Sumatran Rhinos are very agile and quiet in their forest environment and may reach speeds of 25 mph

  • Young Sumatran Rhino males are often very aggressive towards females and are known to injure or even kill them during courtship.

  • Sumatran Rhinos are very solitary except for the females when they have a calf.

  • Sumatran Rhinos bulls have territories of about 30 square miles in size. Females have smaller territories (6-9 square miles)

  • Sumatran Rhinos feed during the morning spend a lot of time wallowing during the day.

  • In the rainy season they travel to the highlands, returning to the lowlands in the dry season.

Sumatran Rhino Reproduction

  • Gestation period: 15 - 16 months.

  • Birth intervals per calf: 3 to 4 years.

  • Female sexual maturity: at 6 to 7 years

  • Male sexual maturity: at approximately 10 years

  • Newborn weaned: at 16 to 18 months (stays with mother for 2 to 3 years)

Sumatran Rhino Distribution

  • Current numbers in wild: 275

  • Numbers in captivity: Currently there are less than 10 individuals. In the past 200 years to 1998, there were 96 individuals in zoos and circuses.

  • Habitat: Lowland secondary rainforest, swamps and moss forests

  • Historic Natural Range: Rare in Northeast India, throughout Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Malaysia and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

  • Current Range: In several scattered National Parks in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo, including Way Kambas, Bukit Barisan Selatan, Gunung Leuser, and Taman Negara & Tabin Wildlife reserve.

Sumatran Rhino Diet

  • Sumatran Rhinos are browsers and feed on leaves and fruits in their tropical habitat.

  • Sumatran Rhinos have a very varied diet, as they are an opportunistic feeder.


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