Almost a decade ago, Andalas’s birth at the Cincinnati Zoo was cause for much celebration. It offered hope that individuals in captivity could help to replenish the numbers of this critically endangered species. Since then, Andalas has gone from strength to strength. In 2007, it was time at last to return to Sumatra to do what comes naturally. After an arduous journey, Andalas was home in his native habitat. This photo gallery and video captures moments from his journey over the past ten years.
As part of the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary’s captive breeding program, Andalas (the 7-year-old male Sumatran rhino born at the Cincinnati Zoo and transferred to Indonesia in 2007) is being exposed to as many of the sanctuary’s female rhinos as possible so he learns to communicate with the females long before they are put together for breeding purposes. This socialization process is being facilitated by feeding the rhinos their daily diets through the fence at the central breeding area, and then opening the gate so the rhinos can interact with each other if they choose. Over the past several months, Andalas has routinely been introduced to all three of the Sanctuarys females: Bina, Ratu and Rosa. This video shows an introduction between Andalas and Ratu – chasing and fighting are actually part of normal rhino “courting rituals.” Soon after this video was shot, Andalas mated with Ratu for the first time.
Video from the International Rhino Foundation.