RPU Ujung Kulon Gets a Rare Opportunity to See and Photograph a Javan Rhino

Interview with Inov:

In the middle of April 2011 we had a chance to take a picture of a Javan Rhino in South Peninsula Ujung Kulon NP.  The location was in Cibandawoh.  Cibandawoh is one of the favorite habitats for Javan Rhinos.  There is a good river and many wallows around the area.  According to data that we have, many people meet rhinos in Cibandawoh, Cikeusik and Citadahan.  Those three locations have a concentration of Javan Rhinos particularly in the dry season.

As usual, after patrol and monitoring from the north peninsula UKNP we moved to the south.  We didn’t see many signs of Javan Rhinos in the north area because it was dry season already.  During the dry season the Javan Rhino will move to the south area.  Our goal wasn’t to find a Javan Rhino; our task is patrol and monitoring of the Javan Rhino habitat.  If we get to see a rhino that is a “bonus” for us.

It was 12.45 and we were looking for a river so that we could cook our lunch.  It was a bit difficult to find a good river with fresh water in dry season.  Suddenly we came upon a fresh footprint of a Javan Rhino.  We measured it to be 23-24 cm.  Slowly and carefully we followed the track of the footprint and we saw two Javan Rhinos together in the wallow.  It was a surprise for us and for the rhinos.  They were a couple and looked like they knew we were nearby.  The male suddenly ran and moved from the wallow and the female rhino stood up and moved from the wallow as well.

We didn’t have time to take a picture when they were in the wallow together, but we did have a chance to take a picture of the female.  The picture wasn’t too clear because we used a pocket camera and we didn’t want to disturb the rhinos.  The rhino was actually only about 5-6 meters from us.

The female Javan Rhino about 5-6 meters from the RPU.

Unit III RPU ujung kulon : Jajat, Endin, Edi, Diding.

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