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Associated Press file photo

Andalas, a 10-month old, 750 pound Sumatran rhino calf lies on his mother, Emi, in a mud pool at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2002. Andalas is being flown to Jakarta to breed and help save the endangered species.

Rhino to help save species

The first Sumatran rhino born in captivity in more than 100 years arrived in Indonesia today with a single task — to breed and help save the endangered species from extinction. The 5-year-old rhino, Andalas, traveled from the Los Angeles Zoo in the United States to Jakarta’s international airport on a two-day journey. The rhino was fed fresh green leaves upon arrival in the tropical island nation.

"He got bored toward the end and a little stir crazy," said Dr. Curtis Eng, a veterinarian from the Los Angeles Zoo who accompanied Andalas on the trip. After a checkup the rhino was to travel another 12 hours by truck and ferry to a sanctuary on Sumatra island, where females Rosa and Ratu await.

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The Sumatran rhino is considered the most threatened of the five rhino species, with less than 300 still alive in isolated pockets in the forests of Malaysia and Sumatra, which is also home to endangered tigers and elephants.

Rampant poaching for its horns — used in traditional Chinese medicines — and destruction of forests by farmers, illegal loggers and palm oil plantation companies has decimated their numbers over the past 50 years.

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