Category — Sumatran Rhino
In the middle of August at the Cincinnati Zoo it is hot, uncomfortable, and difficult to stay cool. Unless, of course, you’re a rhino. Sumatran rhinos, Suci and Harapan, are built to tolerate this muggy, hot weather. At least, their ancestors have adapted to it. In the wild, Sumatran rhinos find relief from the heat in wallows that have filled with rain water. These pools also keep biting flies and insects from bothering them. The rhinos frequent these wallows and put their own personal touch or signature on them by rolling, digging the sides, and likely spraying urine on the trees and vegetation nearby. These behaviors tell other rhinos and animals in the area that this wallow already belongs to someone and to please leave it the way they found it. Here in Cincinnati, Suci and Harapan also have their wallows and they put them to good (and frequent) use. It’s our jobs as keepers to keep the wallows, and all exhibit areas (inside and out), fresh and clean. Yes, clean mud is difficult to attain but necessary. We do this by adding fresh water daily and periodically adding fresh soil. In the wild fresh rain water is added almost daily and during the dry season a rhino will move on to another wallow near or closely adjacent to a stream.
Harapan, the handsome young stud born here in April of 2007, and who has spent some time in Florida and San Diego California over the years, returned here on July 3, 2013. His behavior indicates he is happy to be home. Most days he eats his first meal of ficus browse ( tree cuttings) and fruits and vegetables and then he saunters over to the wallow to get himself good and muddy. The unique part of his behavior is that he then goes into his pool for a quick rinse. Next he wanders inside and checks up on the keepers to see how our day is going. Then, repeats all the steps over again. People often ask zoo keepers if the animals “ know you “ or know they are back home. After this experience, I can honestly say Yes. Harapan is without a doubt happy to be here and we are happy to have him home.
‘ Till next time- Paul Reinhart, Cincinnati Zoo Ungulate dept.
August 30, 2013 4 Comments
Being around animals every day for most of my life, the days sometimes blend together. During conversations last week, I was reminded of the date and it occurred to me that a certain young, male Sumatran rhino is nearly a year old already! Throughout the last year I have thought of “Andatu” and his mother, “Ratu” often. Through keeping in touch with the folks who care for these rhinos it is always amazing to see how fast they grow. This morning the Cincinnati Zoo’s Director, Thane Maynard, sent a recent picture of Ratu and Andatu and again I was astounded. At first glance it’s difficult to tell who is who. Andatu is clearly thriving – he is a big boy!
Video from June, 2012…
It does not take much for my thoughts to drift back in time to a year ago and reminisce over how truly fortunate I was to be a part of this historic story. And it goes beyond just the Ratu and Andatu story. The fact that Andalas was born here at the Cincinnati Zoo nearly 12 years ago, and he has since sired a son who is now a year old, is a dream come true.
It really is a day dream/fantasy come true.
So the next year or two will float by and birthdays of the three offspring and one grand-offspring of Emi and Ipuh will come and go, and as the fantasy/dream continues there will be more, many more birthdays to celebrate.
To be continued…
Paul Reinhart Team Leader Ungulate Dept.
June 28, 2013 1 Comment
Andatu, the offspring of Ratu, a wild-born female Sumatran rhino, and Andalas, a male born here at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001, is thriving at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Indonesia. Andalas was sent to the sanctuary in 2007 with hopes that he would sire calves with one or more of the females there. Since there are fewer than 200 Sumatran rhinos living in Indonesia and Malaysia, this successful birth is big news.
Andalas will remain at the sanctuary to continue breeding with the females, so you won’t see him at the Cincinnati Zoo when you visit. You will, however, be able to see Andalas’ father, Ipuh, and his sister, Suci.
Zookeeper Paul Reinhart was in Sumatra for the June 23, 2012, birth of Ipuh’s grandcalf and recounts highlights of this historical event in this video:
July 27, 2012 4 Comments