Saturday, March 5, 2011

Rare Javan Rhino Caught In Camera Trap

World's 'rarest' mammal, the Javan rhino, caught on camera in Indonesian park

Jayne Clark, USA TODAY

A female Javan rhino walks with her calf in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. Four of the world's most rare rhinoceroses were captured on film by camera traps.

WWF-Indonesia via AP March 4, 2011

Four Javan rhinos, among the Earth's most endangered species -- and possibly the rarest mammal -- have been captured on a motion-activated camera deep inside Indonesia's Ujung Kulon National Park. The two adults and two calves were caught on two separate videos taken in December and released this week by the World Wildlife Fund.

As few as 40 of the rhinos are believed to exist and none are in captivity. A WWF scientist called the sightings "great news," because it shows the animals are breeding in the park's rain forest at the western tip of Java.

"If we lose the population in the wild, we've lost them all," said Dr. Eric Dinerstein, chief scientist at WWF-US in a statement.

Still, a natural disaster could wipe out the rhinos' habitat, and they remain a target of poachers who prize them for their supposed medicinal properties.

You can see photos and a video on National Geographic's website. You also can check out the site's photo gallery of the 14 rarest and weirdest mammal species.

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