San Diego Video Production Services

Camera Crews Capture Sumatran Rhino

When I first heard that our Solana Productions video production crew would be traveling to Sumatra it sounded like just another another video adventure. This would be our 5th trip to Asia although this time it wouldn’t include emerald dealers, sumo wrestlers or gun toting Thai border guards.

Sumatran Rhino Captured by Video Production Crew

I was happy to hear that the Asian rhino was smaller and more docile than the African version. We had a layover in Singapore and stocked up on beef jerky and power bars which became our food pyramid for the next couple of weeks.

The short flight to Padang offered a preview of the misty mountains we’d be driving through. The rhino had been captured and was in the process of being domesticated, or penned up in preparation for the drive down the length of the island.

It involved long days in a convoy winding along slow moving rivers, stopping to feed and bathe the rhino and eating in the Indonesian version of truck stops. This was usually a small building filled with large tables. There was a central fire with a large bowl of soup or stew from which everyone was served. This seemed OK until we saw the partially eaten bowls dumped back into the vat.

At every stop children flocked to the trucks and were alternately captivated by the rhino and watching video playback of themselves from our camera. Once a warm rainstorm interrupted prompting joyous dancing from the kids and smiles from adults huddled under ponchos.

Central Sumatra seemed stuck in an age of simple village life and the rare appearance of foreigners was an event. But our reason for being there was evidence of a more modern problem. Recent immigrants from elsewhere in Indonesia were burning the rain forest and planting rice. The diminishing habitat signaled  inevitable extinction for large mammals like the rhino.

At the tip of Sumatra our video production crew captured the loading of the rhino onto a ferry to cross the Sundra Strait to Jakarta. From there it was a 26 hour plane ride back to San Diego where our rhino met her future husband.

This was one of many attempts by organizations around the world to save the species by establishing breeding pairs. Unfortunately this one failed. The female, Barakas, died leaving about 100 left in the world. This San Diego video production was a round the world adventure that involved 25,000 miles of air travel.

 

 

Latest Blogs