Concern Grows For 68 Endangered Javan Rhinos After Indonesia’s Tsunami; Help Is Needed!

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Javan rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park. Photos by Stephen Belcher.

The latest tsunami in the Sunda Straights, the sea between Java and Sumatra has conservationists concerned for the endangered rhinos in the Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia.

While no animal deaths have been reported from the natural disaster that occurred on December 22nd, which tragically claimed the lives of an estimated 430 people, the live volcano remains a threat.

According to a statement last week from the BNPB that cited data from the  Volcanological Survey of Indonesia, authorities raised the danger level for the volcano to high alert.

“For Javan rhinos, this means that moving a subset of Ujung Kulon’s 68 rhinos to a suitable and secure second habitat in the species’ historic range becomes even more critical,” Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation (IRF) explained on the organization’s Facebook page, further sharing that they are working with the government of Indonesia as well as on-the-ground partners to facilitate the move.

A plan to move the rhinos has reportedly been in the works for eight years.

The size, climate, food, and water resources, as well as safety from poachers, will reportedly be key in determining where the rhinos will be relocated.

As noted by the IRF, the tsunami struck without warning and is believed to have been the result of undersea landslides from the Anak Krakatau, which sits just north of Ujung Kulon National Park.

Ways people can help the International Rhino Foundation with its efforts to save the Javan rhinos are available HERE!

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