Bornean rhinoceros

Bornean rhinoceros

Eastern sumatran rhinoceros, Eastern hairy rhinoceros


Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni

The Bornean rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni ), also known as the eastern Sumatran rhinoceros or eastern hairy rhinoceros, is one of three subspecies of Sumatran rhinoceros. The subspecies may be functionally extinct, with only one individual, a female named Pahu, surviving in captivity, and held in the state of Sabah. In April 2015, the Malaysian government declared the Bornean rhinoceros to be extinct in the wild in the Malaysian portion of Borneo. However, in March 2016, a young female rhino was captured in East Kalimantan (in the Indonesian portion of Borneo), providing evidence of their continued existence. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the subspecies as critically endangered.


The Bornean rhinoceros is markedly smaller than the other two subspecies, making it the smallest of the extant rhinos. The weight of an adult individual ranges from 600–950 kg, the height from 1–1.5 meters and the bodylength from 2–3 m. The Bornean rhinoceros has the darkest skin of the Sumatran rhinos, and the fur of calves is much denser, but it becomes darker and more sparse as the animal matures. The head size is also relatively smaller. The rhinoceros has fringed ears and wrinkles around its eyes. Like the Black rhinoceros it has a prehensile lip. The difference from the Western Sumatran rhinoceros is mainly genetic.



Bornean rhinos used to range all over Borneo, but their range has been severely reduced. Previously, the entire known wild population lived in Sabah, mostly in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. However, this population is now believed to be extinct. A recently captured specimen and video evidence from camera traps have confirmed their continued presence in East Kalimantan, now believed to hold the entire wild population. Reports of animals surviving in Sarawak are unconfirmed.

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Today, the Bornean rhinoceros, like the Sumatran rhino, lives in hot, humid closed canopy rainforest. However, being a species which existed before the end of the Pleistocene, it is likely that this was not the habitat in which they evolved.

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Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

The Bornean rhinoceros, like most rhinos, is a solitary animal that lives in dense rainforest and swamps. It usually feeds at dusk and bathes in mud during the day. The animals eat around 50 kg of plant matter per day. Rare minerals are gained from salt licks. These animals are very good swimmers and can maneuver well on steep slopes. They mark their territory with scrapings, bent saplings and scent marks. The Bornean subspecies may also be more of a browser than most Asian rhinos.

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In April 2007, it was announced that a camera trap in Sabah had captured footage of a Bornean rhinoceros eating and investigating the equipment. This was the first footage showing the elusive rhino's natural behavior in the wild.

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Diet and Nutrition


1. Bornean rhinoceros Wikipedia article -

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