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Sanctuary for rare rhino in Java (Dec)

The Asian Age, New Delhi, 25th December, 2013

 

On a leaf covered dirt path overlooking lush paddy fields in western Indonesia, the world's rarest rhino has left a trail of hoofprints in the soft mud and bite marks on foliage.

For people seeking a glimpse of the Javan Rhino revered in local folklore as Abah Gede, or the Great Father such small signs are likely to be the closest they get. There are thought to be only around 50 of the animals left in existence, all living in the wild in Ujung Kulon National Park, an area of stunning natural beauty on the western tip of Indonesia's main island of Java. But now conservationists are hoping that the country first ever Javan rhino sanctuary, which will open in the park in the coming months, can pull the animal back from the brink of extinction. The shy creature, once numbered in the thousands.