Behind-the-Scenes: Daily Routine at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

Sumatran rhino keepers arrive at work on bike just after sunrise each morning.

Sumatran rhino keepers arrive at work on bike just after sunrise each morning.

Five rhinos currently reside at the 250-acre Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, located in Indonesia’s Way Kambas National Park. Each animal is assigned a team of keepers who cares for its daily needs. The keepers arrive on bike at a large natural forest enclosure each morning, carrying backpacks filled with fruits and vegetables. They also carry a huge bundle of browse collected from the surrounding forest, which assures that the rhinos receive adequate nutrition in addition to what they will forage from the surrounding vegetation throughout the day.

 Keepers must disinfect their boots before entering the rhinos’ enclosures.

Keepers must disinfect their boots before entering the rhinos’ enclosures.

Each keeper hefts a bundle of leaves for his rhino.

Each keeper hefts a bundle of leaves for his rhino.

Each rhino also receives a measured portion of fruits and vegetables each day.

Each rhino also receives a measured portion of fruits and vegetables each day.

Cultivated food items are prepared by removing skins that could contain pesticide residue.

Cultivated food items are prepared by removing skins that could contain pesticide residue.

 Morning feedings are provided either under shelter or in a small forest patch.

Morning feedings are provided either under shelter or in a small forest patch.

 After the morning feeding and daily care routine, the rhinos return to their large forest enclosures to browse native vegetation.

After the morning feeding and daily care routine, the rhinos return to their large forest enclosures to browse native vegetation.

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