A rare Asian two-horned, or Sumatran rhinoceros, captured last month, was displayed on June 21 in Malacca Zoo.
SV Rhinoceros eats leaves as spectators watch. (5 SHOTS)
SV Rhinoceros scratches itself against tree as keeper looks on. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV Rhinoceros eating, and then lies down in shade. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: A rare Asian two-horned, or Sumatran rhinoceros, captured last month, was displayed on June 21 in Malacca Zoo. Sumatran rhinos, shy, timid creatures which stand waist-high to a man, inhabit the freshwater swamp forests from the north of the Malaysian peninsula, through to the jungle-clad hills of the western Indonesian island of Sumatra. Far less aggressive than its African cousin, the Sumatran is the smallest of the five rhinoceros species. News of the capture has prompted inquiries from around the world, particularly from wealthy zoos in the United States. Malaysian experts estimate the total world population at between 128 and 345 - 60 to 230 in Sumatra, 50 to 100 in Malaysia, six to 15 in Thailand and four in Burma. Although the authorities have removed the animal to Malacca Zoo, 148 kilometres (92 miles) from Kuala Lumpur, potential buyers have begun arriving. The 10-year-old grey-coloured female, named Jeram by her keepers, was captured when spotted by a group of workers on an oil palm plantation in the Sungai Dusun reserve, 120 kilometres (80 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur. Jeram was slightly injured during her capture, and Mohammad Khan, director of the Malaysian Wildlife Department said she could lose the sight of one eye. She is now recovering and gaining weight on a diet of leaves. Jeram weighs 600 kilos (1,320 lbs), stands 1.02 metres (three feet four inches) high and is 2.18 metres (seven feet) long. Khan would like to breed the rhinoceros, last done successfully in captivity in Calcutta in 1872, but the problem is to find a mate. Agriculture, industry, and hardwood logging have eroded the animal's natural habitat.