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Monday, August 31, 2015

Wild About Harapan: Sumatran Rhino News

Harapan 
Last October, I was seized with a desire to go to Cincinnati. It's the site of the last Sumatran rhino in the Western Hemisphere, you see, so if I didn't drag my husband on an autumn road trip, neither of us would probably ever see a Sumatran rhino. I had a feeling he would be headed back to the nature reserve where all his living relatives reside. And now it appears I was right. It's the right decision for him. Such a sweet rhino shouldn't be alone. But oh, how we'll miss him. Safe travels, Harapan!


There was also bad news for Sumatran rhinos this week, the kind of news that shakes one's faith in humanity and makes on wonder what it's all about. Previously, we could say that Harapan's relatives had a small enclave in Malaysia as well as their main home in Indonesia. That spread is no more. The Sumatran rhinoceros has been declared extinct in Malaysia because of human greed. The species is utterly dependent on the population living in Indonesia now. It's hard to even say how many are left at this point.

On the brighter side, Harapan's new home hasn't had a poaching incident in years because of aggressive protections in place. He and his species have a fighting chance. It's far from time to give up.