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Get to know the Rhinos of Borneo Rhino Sanctuary (BRS)

Tam, Puntung and Gelogob
 

Who we are

Common name:
Borneo Rhinoceros

Scientific name:

Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

IUCN Status:

Critically Endangered

Lifespan:

30-40 years in the wild, up to 50 in captivity

Habitat:
The Sumatran rhinos are found in Indonesia's Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and  in Borneo. But the Borneon sub-species exist  only in Borneo. It is one of three species with two horns and is the only one found in Asia.




Physical, size and weight

  • The smallest of all rhinos weighing between 500 to 1,000 kg, up to 1.3 metres tall.
  • Two horns: a front horn of between 25cm and 79cm long and a smaller one which is shorter than 10cm
  • Has reddish, brown hair, nicknamed “Hairy Rhino”
  • Rhinoceros have very poor eyesight, relying instead on acute senses of smell and hearing.The smallest of all rhinos weighing between 500 to 1,000 kg, up to 1.3 metres tall.
  • Two horns: a front horn of between 25cm and 79cm long and a smaller one which is shorter than 10cm
  • Has reddish, brown hair, nicknamed “Hairy Rhino”
  • Rhinoceros have very poor eyesight, relying instead on acute senses of smell and hearing.

What we love
  • Wallowing in mud is a favourite past time of all rhinoceros species. It is a great way for them to cool down in the heat of the day and it also protects their skin from the sun and biting insects.
  • Rhinoceros are very agile animals. They may look slow and cumbersome – but don’t be fooled!! Rhinos can run at speeds of 40 to 50km/hr and can do a 180 degree spin in a single jump!
  • Rhinos love to eat bananas, jackfruit and macarenga leaves, etc.


Where we live

  • Borneo Rhino Sanctuary (BRS) is a 20-hectare fenced area of natural rainforest within Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

  • BRS aims to bring rhinos from any non-viable situations, where rhinos exist but are not breeding, to this facility, that will provide adequate care and monitoring. This will maximise the chances for reproductive success. In addition, the fences around Tabin and field patrol teams to reduce the risk of poaching and trapping of the rhino.



 

 
    

Current Progress in BRS

  • Interim facilities to hold three rhinos were developed and upgraded in Tabin Wildlife Reserve (2008-2011).
  • New housing for wildlife staff at Tabin (funded by Sime Darby Foundation).
  • New housing for BORA staff at Tabin (funded by WWF).
  • A 21-person full time team on the ground at Tabin, employed and operated by BORA, with overall supervision and rhino capture led by Sabah Wildlife Department.
  • Full-time veterinary care for rhinos.
  • Patrols to help prevent hunters and trappers encroaching into Tabin forest.
  • Three rhinos are in interim facilities at Tabin : 1 mature, fertile male (Tam), 1 potentially fertile female (Puntung) and 1 old female (Gelogob, post-reproductive age).
  • Rhino Quarantine Facility build in 2011, about 300 metres from the interim facilities, to facilitate optimum care of Gelogob.

What needs to be done, now and future?

  • Prevent any killing or trapping of rhinos.
  • Bring rhinos together to increase the chances of breeding.

Who are the champions for these rhinos?

  • Borneo Rhino Sanctuary programme is implemented by Sabah Wildlife Department on behalf of the Government of Sabah, assisted by Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA) and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and other institutions.
  • To date, core funding for development and operations of the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary programme at Tabin has come primarily from the Sime Darby Foundation (or Yayasan Sime Darby) with a substantial commitment of RM11.4 million for 6 years from 2009 to 2015. Other assistance is from the federal and State government, with extra help from WWF-Germany.

Be part of Rhino Conservation - How you can help them?

In general, anyone can help by supporting the concept of the programme. Owners, shareholders, managers and staff of plantations adjacent to forests where rhinos may roam have important roles to maxise security against unauthorised entry of people to the forest edge, and ensuring that their own workers and contractors do not hunt or set traps in the forest. This is vital as both Puntung and Tam have feet damaged due to snare traps set in the forest. It is also probably that other rhinos have died from wounds and infection caused by snare traps.

 

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