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Jakarta Post

Adult female anoa, two calves die at breeding facility in North Sulawesi

  • Agustinus Hari

    The Jakarta Post

Manado, North Sulawesi   /   Wed, May 6, 2020   /   10:12 am
Adult female anoa, two calves die at breeding facility in North Sulawesi An identification card of a female anoa named Ana, who was found dead along with her unborn calf in March at the Anoa Breeding Center in Manado, North Sulawesi. (JP/Agustinus Hari)

The North Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has revealed the death of a female anoa ‒ an endangered animal native to Sulawesi ‒ and two baby anoas in March at the government-run Anoa Breeding Centre in Manado, North Sulawesi. 

The Manado Environment and Forestry Research and Development Agency, which runs the facility, had previously been adamant not to talk about the animals’ death.

“A 9.5-year-old anoa named Ana and her unborn calf died on March 7,” North Sulawesi BKSDA head Noel Layuk told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Noel said that earlier that day, Ana, who had been pregnant for nine months, was in a healthy condition and had yet to show signs of giving birth.

“During a checkup, Ana was still seen lying down and interacting with other anoas. There were no changes in behavior and no signs of fluid that indicated she was going to give birth,” he said.

Read also: Where are the anoas? Central Sulawesi’s midget buffaloes no longer in sight

The next morning, Ana and her unborn baby were found dead, with Ana’s body caught in the cage.

“She was most likely having difficulty getting her body free and became exhausted, causing shortness of breath leading to death. We estimate that it occurred at night when it was dark and raining so the CCTV could not capture the event,” said Noel.

The breeding center reported the death of two anoas to the North Sulawesi BKSDA on March 8.

Noel added that another calf had also died.

"A newborn to a 10-year-old anoa named Denok had died. It was her third calf," he said, without further elaboration on the time of death.

Read also: Conservation hopes high after third anoa born at breeding center

Contacted separately on Tuesday, an officer at the center who refused to be identified, declined to comment about the death of Denok’s newborn and even asked the Post not to expose the incident.

The center was established by the Environment and Forestry Ministry in 2015 to help boost the declining population of anoa due to hunting and deforestation.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) included the anoa on its red list of endangered species in 1986. The anoa is also a protected species according to the 1990 law on the conservation of natural resources and ecosystems.

There are less than 2,500 adult anoas in Sulawesi’s forests, according to IUCN data. Meanwhile, the breeding center has 10 adult anoas ‒ three males and seven females ‒ as well as three calves, which were born in 2017 and 2018. (aly)