A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros has been born at an Indonesian sanctuary, only the fourth birth in captivity in more than a century, boosting survival hopes for the species, say conservationists.
"Ratu gave birth to a male baby on Saturday. Both the mother and the baby are all very well," conservationist Widodo Ramono, who works at a sanctuary on the southern tip of Sumatra island, told AFP.
The last three in-captivity births for Sumatran rhinos took place in the United States at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.
The father of the new born, Andalas, was himself the first Sumatran rhino delivered in captivity in 112 years. He was born in September 2001, according to the zoo.
Andalas was brought to Indonesia to mate with Ratu, a female who grew up in the wild but wandered out of the forest and now lives at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.
Sumatran rhinos have suffered a 50 per cent drop in population numbers over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of tropical habitat.
There are now believed to be fewer than 200 alive. Most reside in isolated pockets in Southeast Asia.
Poaching is one of the biggest killers of Sumatran rhinos, whose horns are reputed to have medicinal properties.
But rhinos have also suffered from the destruction of their habitat and, according to environmentalists, two million hectares of forests are lost every year in Indonesia.