Arief Rubianto, Rhino Protection Unit director, and Inov, IRF’s Indonesian coordinator, accompany the tour.
Two members of the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK), Crystal Butler from the Oklahoma City Zoo and Kenton Kerns of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, were invited to join IRF this month for a special Indonesian rhino tour.
Their two institutions were among the top four nationally that raised record funding last year through Bowling for Rhinos events. Funds raised by Bowling for Rhinos help support Rhino Protection Units for Indonesia’s critically endangered Sumatran and Javan rhinos. The tour began in southern Sumatra’s Lampung province with visits to a few local sites and a stay at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.
Kenton Kerns and traveling companion Kristen Hetherington on a sundown visit to a small offshore island in the Sunda Strait.
Although Lampung Province may be better known for its elephants, of which there are many statues around the countryside, it is also home to critically important Sumatran rhino populations in Way Kambas National Park and Bukit Barisan National Park.
Zookeeper Pace Frank of the Oklahoma City Zoo, along with Crystal, Kristen and Kenton, receive a presentation from Agus Riyadi, who serves in one of Way Kambas National Park’s Rhino Protection Units.
Arief Rubianto demonstrates how steel cable snares set for tigers and rhinos can sometimes cause the loss of limbs to these animals.
A night hike in a nearby village yielded sightings of three slow lorises, small nocturnal primates.
Following the night hike, tour members were invited to watch local villagers practice traditional dances that highlight rhinos and tigers.