A rare Javan rhinoceros has been captured on camera rolling around in a mud bath in a national park on Indonesia’s Java island.
There are only 72 Javan rhinos left in the wild, and the video of the critically endangered species was posted on Twitter by Indonesia’s environment minister, Siti Nurbaya Bakar.
The entire video lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds and was taken at the bottom of waterfall in the Cigenteur Block of Ujung Kulon National Park.
Already, the 30-second version posted on social media has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.
Seekor badak Jawa (Rhinocerus sondaicus) yang tertangkap kamera video trap dengan durasi 2 menit 15 detik di kubangan air terjun Blok Cigenteur Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon. pic.twitter.com/C1OMvrBCxC— Siti Nurbaya Bakar (@SitiNurbayaLHK) June 29, 2020
The male rhino, pegged to be about 7-years-old, is displaying typical rhino behaviour.
“This activity is carried out by rhinos to maintain body temperature and humidity, fulfillment of minerals, reduce parasites and to rest,” the minister explained. “Usually done at least 2 times a day with the longest duration up to 3 hours.”
The population of Javan Rhinos in Indonesia was 72 individuals with 39 males and 33 females in 2019, according to the minister.
“Let’s keep watching and loving the rhino,” Bakar tweeted, “Looking after and loving them is the same as looking after and loving Indonesia.”
The park is routinely patrolled to protect the rhinos and habitat is protected.
The world was quickly entranced by the images.
Hmm, looks like a *few* of you have seen this Javan rhino video already – here's the story behind it!🦏 (And an excuse to watch it a few dozen more times😁) https://t.co/cIkXvaw7OE— IntlRhinoFoundation 🦏 (@RhinosIRF) July 2, 2020
Of course, conservationists would like to see more done to protect the species which was once once lived throughout northeast India and Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s last Javan rhino was poached in 2010, according to the World Wildlife Fund.