East Lampung, Lampung (ANTARA News) - The administrator of Way Kambas National Park (TNWK) has refused the transfer of several Sumatran rhinoceros from the Rhino Preservation Area (SRS) to Cincinnati Zoo, the United States.

"We are not supporting the transfer of several rhinoceros to a foreign country," said Chief of Public Relations at TNWK Sukatmoko on Tuesday.

According to TNWK officials, the transfer plan arose after the breeding centre successfully bred a baby rhino called Andatu and the discovery of a wild baby rhino in the area of TNWK, Lampung.

SRS in TNWK is a natural habitat of Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) and proven as a creature that can breed naturally.

"Indonesia should learn from the bad experience in the 1980s when at least 18 Sumatran rhinoceri died in England and the US as they could not adapt to the new habitat," Sukatmoko said.

He urged the Indonesian government to evaluate the transfer programme of Sumatran rhinoceros to the US.

"We urge the related ministry to evaluate the transfer plan," Sukatmoko said.

Director of the Indonesia Rhinoceros Foundation (Yabi) Widodo S Ramono said the Sumatran rhinoceros is an endangered species, although the agency has found two new baby rhinos.

"We should maintain that the baby rhino will not be transferred to the US as its natural habitat is in TNWK," Ramono said.

Although the translocation has been reasonably made by several institutions, Ramono said efforts should be made to increase its population in Indonesia.

He said mating of a rhinoceros and single offspring should not occur to avoid problems at a later stage.

However, Ramono appreciated the efforts of Cincinnati Zoo, which shared its knowledge on rhino breeding.

"But it does not mean that we have agreed to give one Sumatran rhinoceros to them," he said.

He added that if the international community is concerned about the Sumatran Rhinoceros, it should step up efforts to build the SRS.


Editor: Jafar M Sidik
Copyright © ANTARA 2013