Nothing like a mud bath to start the day!
Indonesia’s Java Island is home to the Ujung Kulon National Park, located on the westernmost tip of the island. The park houses plenty of wildlife, and among them are the endangered and very rare Javan rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros sondaicus). There are estimated only to be 72 of the creatures left in the wild, so seeing one is really special.
A video shared on Twitter by Indonesia’s environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar a few days ago happened to catch one of the Javan rhinos as it thoroughly enjoyed a mud bath.
Park officials estimate the rhino to be a male, and about seven years old. Bakar says there are 39 males and 33 female rhinos left and equate looking after and loving the rhinos to loving the country.
“Let’s keep watching and loving the rhino,” Bakar wrote on Twitter, “Looking after and loving them is the same as looking after and loving Indonesia.”
Javan rhinoceroses are the most threatened of the rhino species, and once were plentiful in India and Southeast Asia. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the only surviving Javan rhinos live in the Ujung Kulon National Park. They were often poached for their horns or killed as trophies and were being poached as recently as 2010 in Vietnam.
An adult Javan rhino can weigh anywhere from about 2,000 to over 5,000 pounds, and the single horn can grow up to around 10 inches. They do not usually dig their own mud pits, rather they find and enjoy those already made, like the one this rhino found near a waterfall. Should the population in the park dwindle, the animals will go extinct.
Did you know that ancient people believed that a rhinoceros horn held magical powers? Powdered rhino horns were also used as a medicine to treat a multitude of medical conditions in Oriental medicine. Share your thoughts in the comments below.