The trap had been set, but there was no rushing a 770‑kilogram (1,700‑pound) rhino. The conservationists waited and waited. 

Then, it happened. The rhino stepped onto a leafy spot. It fell into a shallow pit. The conservationists had dug that pit in the forest floor. But why did they want to trap a rhino?

It’s all part of a plan. They are trying to save the Sumatran rhino from extinction. It’s called the Sumatran Rhino Rescue.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest of the rhino family.

This rhino is now living in the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Here, it is safe from poachers. 

Rhinos in Trouble

All five rhino species are in danger of extinction. The Sumatran rhino is the most endangered of all. 

Rhinos have been hunted for their valuable horns. For centuries, they have been used in Asian medicine. Powdered rhino horns have been used to treat everything from asthma to chicken pox. No proof exists that rhino horns cure illness. Yet, people still want them.

Experts now think there are only 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild. These rhinos live in 10 separate places. Their isolation is a threat to their future.


A Rescue Plan

The rescue plan is to safely capture as many wild rhinos as possible. The rhinos would be taken to nearby sanctuaries. Scientists would then assist in their reproduction. This is called captive breeding.

A conservationist measures a rhino track. 

Right now, there’s only one place where this can happen. It’s called the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary.

Sumatran rhinos are not social animals. They cannot live together. A rhino’s pregnancy lasts 15 months. Yet, if female rhinos can’t find a mate, they go a long time without breeding. This makes problems that can prevent the female from getting pregnant.

Protect The Natural World

Protecting the planet is vital! The National Geographic Society has set a goal to help improve the status of 100 species or populations by 2030.