Trail camera catches incredibly rare creature in Indonesia — with her baby. See them

Pointed toward a small clearing in a dense rainforest, a trail camera sits poised at the ready.

The camera is deep in Ujung Kulon National Park, Indonesia, and was positioned earlier this year in the hopes of catching a glimpse of one of the world’s rarest large mammals.

It wasn’t long before the camera spotted one of the elusive creatures — and it came with a surprise.

On March 4, a mother and calf Javan rhinoceros were recorded passing through the park, according to an April 6 news release from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

In a video shared by the ministry on Facebook, the mother comes into frame just past her head, and her smooth, dark body walks across the frame. Just behind her, a baby pokes its head out of the foliage and flaps its ears, the video shows. The mother backs up a bit, obstructing the baby from view, before they both turn around and head back into the rainforest.

The Javan rhinoceros is a critically endangered animal, living on only one island of Indonesia with only a few dozen adults in the wild today, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

This baby had never been seen before, wildlife officials said, and is estimated to be between 3 and 5 months old.

The back of the baby’s body didn’t make it into the video, so wildlife officials don’t yet know the gender.

Javan rhinos are one of five rhinoceros species left on the planet and have short horns compared to their African counterparts, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Previous babies have been born in the park, including one spotted on trail cameras in 2023.

Satyawan Pudyatmoko, director general of natural resources and ecosystem conservation, said the sighting was good news for the species because it shows the rhinos can breed and thrive on their own in the wild.

He attributed the sighting to a project expanding the number of trail cameras in the protected park.

Pudyatmoko said while the baby proves the rhinos can reproduce, it doesn’t mean their population is climbing back. They still face many challenges, he said in the release, including inbreeding since there are so few adult animals left.

Ujung Kulon National Park is on the western tip of the Indonesian island of Java, about a 145-mile drive southwest from the capital city of Jakarta.

Google Translate was used to translate the release from the Kementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan.

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