In a heartwarming conservation story, a critically endangered Sumatran rhino calf was recently born in Way Kambas National Park, Southern Sumatra, marking the third successful pairing between local female rhino rats and Andalas from Ohio’s Cincinnati Zoo. This female calf, yet to be named, entered the world on a Saturday, offering hope to a species on the brink of extinction due to illegal poaching and habitat loss. According to the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), there are now fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left, scattered in fragmented regions across Indonesia.

The birth of a 27-kilogram (60-pound) Sumatran rhino calf, covered in black hair, was captured in heartwarming photos shared by the forestry ministry. Remarkably, just 45 minutes after her natural birth, the calf stood on her own and began nursing from her attentive mother, Ratu, a mere four hours later. These unique creatures, with an average height of 4 to 5 feet (about 1.5 meters) and a body length of 8.2 feet (2.5 meters), are well-suited to Sumatra’s dense tropical forests. However, their slow reproductive rate, coupled with intermittent births, underscores the urgency of ongoing conservation efforts. Programs like the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, which has successfully raised three calves, offer hope for the species’ survival, particularly following its local extinction in neighboring Malaysia in 2019.