The Sumatran rhino is the smallest of the world’s five living rhinoceros species and the only rhino in Asia with two horns. Although smaller than other rhinos, it is undoubtedly a large, prehistoric looking animal. Unfortunately this unique animal is also classified as one of the most endangered rhinoceros species.
Sumatran rhinos are generally solitary and secretive creatures that feed on leaves, twigs, fruit, and shrubs. The rhinos are most often found near water, and spend much of the day wallowing in the mud, which dries onto the skin. This is cooling and also protects its delicate surface areas from flies and other biting insects. At night the rhinos browse on twigs, leaves, fruits, also felling saplings for tender shoots.
The reason why Sumatran rhinos are critically endangered is due to habitat loss and primarily illegal poaching. Those that survive are small, scattered and under threat from poaching for the traditional medicine trade. Hunting for its horns is a major threat to this species. Sumatran rhinoceros populations are now so small that breeding is rare. International trade in the Sumatran rhinoceros is banned under its listing on Appendix I of CITES, and the species is lawfully protected in all countries where it takes place. Captive breeding of Sumatran rhinos has only in recent times shown any success. International efforts to prevent poaching are believed to be the best hope for the future of this unique and rare mammal.
When will the Humans understand that if things keep on going the way they are, the world's last hairy rhinoceros may soon become extinct!