On Patrol: Rhino Protection Units in Indonesia

Way Kanan WKNP 061114 WRK 0573 low res

RPU patrol boat travels to the coast along the Way Kanan river.

IRF’s Bowling for Rhinos tour spent a full day with Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) in Sumatra’s Way Kambas National Park. The adventure began with a boat patrol through miles of palm and mangrove forests down the Way Kanan river, and a stop along the way at an RPU field camp.  In the forest, tour participants learned about native wildlife habits, how poachers operate, and how the RPUs patrol the forest in search of animal traps and snares.

Palm forest

Palm forest

Aptly-named long-tailed macaques come down to the river’s edge to feed in flooded grassy patches.

Aptly-named long-tailed macaques come down to the river’s edge to feed in flooded grassy patches.

Mangrove forest

Mangrove forest

Arief Rubianto explains how the Malayan sun bear, even with its powerful claws, typically uses its teeth and long tongue to extract insects from under tree bark.

Arief Rubianto explains how the Malayan sun bear, even with its powerful claws, typically uses its teeth and long tongue to extract insects from under tree bark.

This tree is particularly favored by illegal loggers for building fishing platforms and raised houses in coastal areas that tend to flood.

This tree is particularly favored by illegal loggers for building fishing platforms and raised houses in coastal areas that tend to flood.

A cable snare laid on the forest floor and attached to a bent sapling will spring into action when an unsuspecting animal steps inside it.

A cable snare laid on the forest floor and attached to a bent sapling will spring into action when an unsuspecting animal steps inside it.

Supriyhono demonstrates how RPUs sometimes rely on a common forest vine for fresh water.

Supriyhono demonstrates how RPUs sometimes rely on a common forest vine for fresh water.

RPUs on patrol.

RPUs on patrol.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s