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Helping Hand - BORA: Borneo Rhino Alliance

courtesy of Nik Lacchin of luckydesigns.org

Helping Hand - February 23, 2018 complete interview with BORA Borneo Rhino Alliance

Helping Hand concludes two weeks of featuring nonprofits in the Asia Pacific supporting two of the most vulnerable animals. Last week was elephants, and this week: rhinos, and in particular, one of the rarest living creatures on earth, the Sumatran rhinoceros. Decimated by both weather and human-driven habitat loss, as well as over 1500 years of Chinese rhino horn consumption that has put rhinos around the world at risk of extinction, there are only nine Sumatran rhinos in captivity and a few dozen hoped to exist in the wild. HPR ATC Host Dave Lawrence speaks with Dr. John Payne, Executive Director of BORA, the Borneo Rhino Alliance, caring for Malaysia’s pair of Sumatran rhinos at their facility in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, and hoping to conduct captive breeding with the help of Indonesia, where the other seven live and only wild population is thought to survive. Hear about his mission and how you can help save one of Earth’s most vulnerable residents.     

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Iman the Sumatran rhino

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Tam the Sumatran rhino

Helping Hand airs Fridays on All Things Considered and then is archived online here. Helping Hand puts the spotlight on an organization, topic or event that supports those with disabilities and the most vulnerable. 

Contact BORA Borneo Rhino Alliance:

Website: borneorhinoalliance.org (where you can donate online) and facebook.com/BORAborneorhinoalliance

Email: bora@borneorhinoalliance.org

Find last week's segment with Save Elephant Foundation's Elephant Nature Park.

Find all the previous Helping Hand segments.

Iman the Sumatran rhino in her outdoor enclosure at the Borneo Rhino Alliance facility in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Borneo, Malaysia. She's among the rarest living creatures on Earth.

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Tam the Sumatran rhino with lead veterinarian at Borneo Rhino Alliance Dr. Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, seen in a February 2018 photo.


Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Dr. John Payne, Executive Director of BORA Borneo Rhino Alliance, a biologist who has worked with wildlife in Borneo since the 1970's and leads the effort to care for Malaysia's pair of Sumatran rhinos.
Dr. Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, Field Manager and Veterinarian at the Borneo Rhino Alliance, feeding one of the Sumatran rhinos in his care. He's the lead medical staff member on the team.


Audio of Iman the Sumatran rhino vocalizing earlier this year. The Sumatran rhinos are the most vocal rhino species, with a variety of endearing squeaks and sounds they produce. Here she is enthusiastically being fed and reacting positively.

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Iman has a snack.

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Puntong the Sumatran rhino. She passed away last year at the Borneo Rhino Alliance site in Malaysia after battling squamous cell cancer. She had lost her foot in a poacher's snare and gone on to live with just three feet.

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Iman is airlifted to the Borneo Rhino Alliance site after her capture.
Credit Paul Reinhart
Harapan the Sumatran rhino gets a kiss goodbye from longtime keeper Paul Reinhart of the Cincinnati Zoo after Reinhart accompanied him to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia. Harapan lives with his brother Andalas, Andalas' two offspring and a handful of females, including Ratu, the mother. An in vitro fertilization project could utilize frozen semen from either Harapan or Andalas with eggs from Iman.

Credit International Rhino Foundation
Ratu and baby Andatu shortly after his birth in 2012 at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia. Andalas, the father, was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, where reproductive physiologist Dr. Terri Roth unlocked the secrets to captive breeding, leading to the births of several Sumatran rhinos, including Andalas and Harapan.
Credit International Rhino Foundation
Andalas the Sumatran rhino at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS). He's sired two calves in Indonesia, Andatu and Delilah, and could play a critical role in an in vitro fertilization program with the Borneo Rhino Alliance's Iman. He was born at the Cincinnati Zoo.


Learn more about BORA Borneo Rhino Alliance and these very special rhinos:

Watch a short documentary focused on Tam, their male rhino:

Watch a video report on the project from Malaysia:

See harrowing footage of Iman being airlifted:

Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
Tam the Sumatran rhino, soon after capture in 2008.
Credit Borneo Rhino Alliance
One very special lady: Iman the Sumatran rhino in her mud wallow. Dr. Payne said this is her favorite spot.

Find more features and interviews with Dave Lawrence.

Contact Dave Lawrence.

Dave Lawrence is the local host of All Things Considered, Road Stories (formerly Off the Road), and Stargazer.
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