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Indonesian Works by using Puppets To Teach About Threats To The World’s Rarest Rhinos

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Previous instructor Samsudin (R) instructing young children about animal conservation with cardboard puppets at Cemara Kulon village, in Indramayu&#13
Image: Timur Matahari / AFP

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n a little Indonesian fishing village, a guy with a phony rhino head perched atop his very own puts on a puppet exhibit for a team of keen children.

Former trainer Samsudin is educating the youngsters about the plight of the critically endangered Javan rhino—the world’s rarest—using cardboard figures, comical expressions and exaggerated voices to unfold his message of conservation just one story at a time.

The 50-year-aged asks the youngsters in the West Javan village of Indramayu to mimic the animals, and teaches them the great importance of guarding the forest and the wildlife special to it.

“I want them to know rhinos require pristine forest and that human beings are not the only creatures on earth,” he explained to AFP.

“I want youngsters to enjoy mother nature and increase up into people who are knowledgeable and treatment about our pure resources.”

Javan rhinos—one-horned mammals that can weigh up to two tonnes and have folds of loose skin that resemble armour plating—once numbered in the 1000’s across Southeast Asia.

But they are now barely clinging to existence, obtaining been strike tough by rampant poaching and human encroachment on their habitats.

Following a long time of inhabitants drop, there are considered to be just 75 of the mammals remaining at the Ujung Kulon sanctuary—their final remaining wild habitat—on the westernmost tip of Java island.

Before it is far too late

Samsudin, who like many Indonesians works by using only one name, decided to dedicate his time to the conservation of Javan rhinos and other endangered species in 2014 right after mastering about their precarious scenario.

Considering that then, he has travelled throughout the archipelago on an aged bicycle, doing free of charge puppet shows at stops together the way to teach small children about the animals.

“I want them to know about rhinos prior to it really is as well late. I do not want them to only see rhinos from textbooks or cartoon films,” Samsudin said.

Samsudin would make his puppets out of cardboard because it is quickly available, and because he opposes the use of leather—which is utilized in classic Javanese puppet theatre shows—for conservation factors.

The use of visible storytelling tends to make the information easier for youngsters to digest and generates a more powerful bond between him and his younger viewers, he mentioned.

“Children have a shorter interest span I have to be inventive to distract them from their devices,” he stated.

Rhino conservation is in particular challenging simply because of the animals’ extensive gestation period of time and their inclination to roam, which typically leaves males and females divided for the duration of the mating period.

Samsudin is also decided to obstacle cartoon depictions of rhinos as being lazy and dumb.

“Rhinos are quite shy and they have an strange visual appearance, but there are only a few of them remaining in the globe, so I want to carry their graphic and make them exclusive and sensible creatures,” he mentioned.

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Follow in my footsteps

Right after coronavirus briefly brought the curtain down on his act, Samsudin is now back on the road executing for small children.

His clearly show casts the Javan rhino as the most important character, with a macaque and a Sumatran tiger for sidekicks, and a hunter as the villain.

One particular happy audience member was Gelar Dwi Titar Syahputro, a principal faculty pupil who viewed the puppet exhibit with his buddies.

“It was fun and hilarious. I uncovered some thing new. The story advised me not to litter and to assure to guard mother nature,” Syahputro stated.

Samsudin wants his younger audience members to emulate him a single day, becoming a member of his mission to unfold consciousness about the setting via folklore.

“I hope amid hundreds of youngsters I have met, a person or two will stick to in my footsteps and be part of me to unfold messages about conservation,” he stated.

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