asian rhinoceros


The Sumatran rhino was once widespread throughout Asia, with populations found in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China made up of three separate subspecies; the Bornean or eastern Sumatran rhinoceros, the western Sumatran rhinoceros, and the northern Sumatran or Chittagong rhinoceros.  Now, this beautiful mammal is found only in Sumatra and Borneo, the Bornean rhino has been reduced to perhaps 20 animals, and the Chittagong rhino may well be extinct.


A Gentle Giant, The Great Asian Rhinoceros

““The jungle is moving. Suddenly, in the middle of the night I felt the ground moving beneath us. Plants and ground were moving in the direction of the moon. It took us a while to comprehend that we were sleeping on the back of one of this giants. Their movements are so slow and is covered with a dense layer of foliage that is hard to notice in the jungle despite its impressive size.“

Clement Van Burden diaries. 

What appears to be a perfect symbiosis in nature, actually can be deadly for this Rhinoceros. If the plants grow in large quantities, the rhino will be too heavy to walk and the animal can die of starvation. On the other hand, some roots are invasive and they can grow inside the armor of this animal affecting his nervous system and motor skill abilities. It is a slow and painful way to die and probably the main reason this animal lives in herds; so they can eat each others plants.

The ecosystem that grows on the back of this gigantic mammal is home of numerous small animals.

Follow Clement Van Burden Project here


Erik Hijweege: Endangered Species in Frozen Time

There is no permanent way to defy the natural process of time and decay; human ability and scientific process could only delay. Photographer Erik Hijweege visits a repository of frozen endangered species to immortalize them in photographs.

It may be small for a rhino, but the Sumatran rhinoceros is still a formidable animal.  With a weight of up to two tons, thick, leathery skin, and it’s massive horn, few predators are a match for this living tank.  A tiger or pack of wild dogs may be able to take down a newborn calf, but few will be willing to rick the ire of the mother.  As such, the Sumatran rhino has no true predators.  Leaving aside man, that is.