The Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Southeast Sumatra is a long way from the big cities of the world, Jakarta being a notable exception. Yet the sanctuary’s daily activities have the same impact on the planet. Aside from trying to save these rare forest rhinos under our care, we are beginning to think about our “footprint” on the world. Although the sanctuary harnesses some solar power to meet its energy needs, a large expense every month is the costs for fuel to run generators, motorbikes and the like. Historically the SRS staff have patrolled the sanctuary perimeter and traveled to and from the rhinos on motorbike
Just this month the SRS is beginning to make the switch from gas powered motorbike to human powered bicycle. The change is not always easy, but the results in fuel savings and environmental impact are already being noticed. The idea came from Dr. Andriansyah. Dr. Andri came to the SRS a year and a half ago with all of the ideals of a young scientist on a mission to make a difference in the world. Dr. Andri realized that using bicycles rather than motorbikes would make a big difference over the long run in fuel costs and help preserve the pristine nature we are privileged to work in everyday. Dr. Andri himself just recently learned how to drive a car so riding a bicycle comes quite natural!
The SRS has always been a very green place with the tropical rainforest all around, but now it is becoming “green” in another sense as well…..the work continues to help save some of the last Sumatran rhinos of the world and we can feel good about doing so in a more sustainable fashion. After all, that is what conservation is all about.
Dr. Robin W. Radcliffe, DVM, DACZM
Rhino Conservation Medicine Program
The Rhino Conservation Medicine Program is housed at Cornell University, and led by Dr. Robin Radcliffe, DVM/DACZM. Dr. Radcliffe is one of the few veterinarians in the world certified by the American College of Zoological Medicine with a specialty in wildlife. Dr. Radcliffe teaches at the veterinary school at Cornell and oversees the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park, Indonesia.
IRF needs your help to continue providing veterinary support for rhino conservation efforts around the world. Visit our website to learn more about how you can help us protect rhinos