Rhino health update
Harapan is the newest rhino in SRS, he stayed here since 2 months ago. Started on 2nd November 2015, he had been only staying in his boma for about 2 months because he was under quarantine on that day. We notice that the ‘boma’ area wasn’t large enough for him to live so for some reason we made a special corridor in Andatu’s enclosure for him. This corridor connects his quarantine stall with our breeding stall in central area. Even this corridor is not that large, but is can be a place for him to learn how to live in the forest. We make that place like other rhino enclosures. We prepare a wallow, a place to drink, a place to put the leaves, and a place to defecate. On 23rd December 2015, we tried to let him enter inside this new paddock.
He started learning in how to find living food-plants and how to live inside the real forest. He was good, he was calm but sometimes very curious when something new happened like sound of gibbon’s sing, macaque, birds, winds, and every new things for him. He couldn’t eat that much on the first day and always wanted to go back to his stall. He walked quite often to the gate and wanted to cross over. He even refused to drink in his new enclosure. He didn’t want to wallow that long, but he always visit the wallow quite often. He would stay only few minutes and then wake up. We put him back to his stall at 4 P.M. and did some checking, we noticed that lot of ticks had stuck to his body so then we cleaned it up.
We were worried about this, we already took some blood samples and sent it to laboratory to check ticks infection but so far its OK. After a few days, keepers always monitor his behavioral development. From observations we know that Harapan can adapt with his new enclosure. He started to eat like normal intake, he likes to wallow for almost 4 hours like he always did inside his boma. But our problem is about his habit that he always defecates inside his wallow making the mud became very dark and smelly.
Regular health monitoring continued being conducted. Daily physical check, weekly fecal sampling, and monthly blood check up were conducted. We noticed that his feet became much better since he has been walking inside the new enclosure. His body weight also measured every week. He was about 768kg on first of January this year. He still look skinny for a mature male, but we keep monitor him every day and we hope he always in a good condition. We hope that Harapan could become our new hope to leading the breeding programs in the SRS.
January 11th 2016
Reported by Made Fera.