HE may only be the size of a puppy, but this two-day old baby rhinoceros could be a vital rescue-line for the dying Sumatran Rhino species.

Jakarta: A highly endangered Sumatran rhinoceros gave birth to a male calf in western Indonesia on Saturday, which was also only the fourth known birth in captivity for the species in 123 years.

The male calf was given the name Andatu- a combine parts of its parents’ name, Andalas the father and mother Ratu, and refers to “Anugerah Dari Tuhan”, or “Gift from God” in Indonesian language.

Novianto Bambang, director of biodiversity conservation at the Forestry Ministry, said that the mother, Ratu, delivered the male calf after a nearly 16-month pregnancy at Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province.

"This is a historic birth because Sumatran rhinos are on the brink of extinction," Bambang said.

He said both mother and calf are doing well. The US-based International Rhino Foundation called the first birth of a Sumatran rhino at an Indonesian facility “monumental” and said it was one of the most significant advances in conservation efforts for the species.

There are an estimated 200 Sumatran rhinos living in the wild in small groups in Indonesia and Malaysia, which is half of the number that lived 15 years ago. Another 10 live in captivity, including Ratu and four others in a rhino sanctuary at the Way Kambas National Park.

Ratu, who was born in the wild, had miscarried twice, and was paired with Andalas, who was born in the United States and brought to Indonesia in 2007.

With Agency input

Baby ... rhino will balloon to 125 stone Photo By AFP/Handout

Lifeline ... two-day old calf at Sumatra Rhino Sanctuary Photo By AFP/Handout

Bond ... protective mother Ratu stays close to her new calf Photo By AFP/Handout

Renewed hope ... birth boosts numbers of endangered Sumatran species Photo By AFP/Handout

VIDEO Rare baby Sumatra rhino named a 'gift from God'

A critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros, which becomes the fourth birth in captivity in more than a century, is named a "gift from God".

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