When you were a child, you probably enjoyed pizza or ice cream parties for your birthday. For a rhino, like Andatu, he prefers plants and fruits as his treat. Today is his special day, and the keepers at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia have his favorites ready for him.
After all Andatu is “one special rhino,” he is the first ever born in captivity in Indonesia. His mother is Ratu and his father is Andalas. Andatu’s name is a combination of his parents’ names and means “Gift from God.” He has a little sister, Delilah, as well. Today he turns 8 years old and is reaching sexual maturity.
Andatu grew quickly and now weighs more than 1,000 lbs. He enjoys long walks around his enclosure, wallowing, and snacking on the local vegetation. In addition to the foods he finds for himself in the forest, his keepers provide him and the other six rhinos at the SRS, with browse from more than two dozen different types of plants.
Sumatran rhinos eat more than 150 pounds of food each day. Though the rhinos of the SRS have 2.5 acres of forest each to roam, their diet must be supplemented from other areas of rainforest in Way Kambas. With permission from the national park, the sanctuary hires local food collectors to harvest the additional browse needed to feed seven rhinos each day.
With the recent expansion of the SRS and as part of the emergency plan to save the Sumatran Rhino, additional rhinos will be translocated. Supplemental food needs will increase with the new rhinos and as new calves are born as part of the breeding program.
National park staff envisioned an innovative reforestation program that would increase the wild habitat for rhinos and other species while also providing a sustainable food source for the rhinos at the SRS. With local partners, communities, park staff, and you, IRF will replant a second plot within Way Kambas National Park. As the trees mature, some leaves and branches will be harvested to feed the rhinos, while the majority of the site will be left to grow into habitat for rhinos and other species.
From June 2nd to June 30, IRF is raising funds to replant as many acres as possible in Way Kambas:
Every $1 donated plants a tree, and we will say thank you to you with a certificate for you to show proudly.
With every $1,000 donated, IRF and its partners will replant an entire acre and recognize you with your name on a sign on location. Gather your friends and family into a giving circle to plant an acre of food for Andatu and his pals.
With your support we can give Andatu a plant party, by providing a future salad buffet. Happy Birthday Big Guy!
Here’s hoping it’s the best birthday yet! You can send Andatu birthday wishes on his Facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/andatu.rhino