Sumatran Rhino

"Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis" by A.J. Trahan (digital)

My two-year old son is currently obsessed with his little toy rhino. I felt inspired to paint something that he would enjoy as much as me. I just hope that these fascinating creatures are still around sharing our planet when he is all grown up.
— A.J. Trahan

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The Sumatran rhino lives in dense tropical forest, both lowland and highland, mainly on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and in central Borneo. These scattered populations are mainly confined to Gunung Leuser, Kerinci-Seblat and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks. A few also live in Kalimantan.

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Family Life

Sumatran rhinos are generally solitary in nature. Females are thought to be territorial and to avoid one another. Adults of both sexes regularly mark their ranges with scrapes, saplings, feces, and urine. The Sumatran rhino is surprisingly vocal and communicates with many different sounds, mostly whistling or whining noises. Sumatran rhinos have a good sense of smelling and hear very well, but are rather short sighted. As with all rhinos they wallow and their gestation lasts approximately 15-16 months. 


Sumatran rhinos live between 35 and 40 years.

Hunting Habits/Diet

The Sumatran rhino is a browser and feeds on fruit (especially wild mangoes and figs), leaves, twigs, and bark. They feed mostly in small patches of juicy secondary vegetation created by landslides, tree falls and along river banks. They are also fond of fruits that have fallen from the forest trees. Sumatran rhinos eat on average 50-60 kg (almost 10% of their body weight) of plant matter per day.


Fewer than 100 Sumatran rhinos survive.

Fun Fact

The Sumatran rhino is the smallest of all rhinos.

Why are they Endangered?

The Sumatran rhino is the most endangered of all rhinoceros species due to its rapid rate of decline. Because of poaching, numbers have decreased more than 50% over the last 20 years. The species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia in 2015. Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra in Indonesia, which is now estimated to have the largest single population of Sumatran rhinos, is still losing forest cover due to conversion of forest for coffee and rice production by illegal settlers. Poaching is also another major threat to the species. The Sumatran rhino horn is still used in traditional Asian medicines. In Vietnam, the rhino horn is also bought as a status symbol.


Critically Endangered

asian rhinoceros