#3 - Chris Annadorai - Operation Sumatran Rhino

Chris Annadorai is the Director of Operation Sumatran Rhino which will premiere through Nat Geo Wild’s new series Mission Critical, a new monthly programming initiative featuring powerful stories of the most incredible and endangered animals on our planet.


This was a really eye-opening interview about the current state of the Sumatran Rhino. Did you know that there are estimated to be less than 100 Sumatran rhinos left? This species has lived for millions of years and once roamed across most of South-East Asia. Today, the Sumatran rhino is the most endangered of all rhinoceros species due to its rapid rate of decline. In Indonesia, there are fewer than 80 individuals, with 7 of these rhinos in fenced facilities, and others scattered across the wild in at least 6 sites. While in Malaysia, the situation is even more dire. The species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia in 2015. Only 3 are left in captivity, cared for by the documentary's NGO partner, Borneo Rhino Alliance’s Borneo Rhino Sanctuary, located in Sabah.


In this interview Chris explains more about the rhino, current conservation efforts and more. 

Favourite quote from episode:

“To always stay restless would mean to never be comfortable: to never sit on my laurel; to never spend time just appreciating the past; and, busking in the present. But, to spend time appreciating what the present is, by taking five minutes to appreciate it, and then moving on to the next thing. Because, there’s so many things that need to be done. There’s so many causes to be fought. There’s so many things that need to be addressed. There’s so many people to meet. There’s so many people to help. There’s wildlife to try and save and so many stories to tell” – Chris [01:04:20]


People/ items mentioned in this episode:

·      Operation Sumatran Rhino Facebook and Website

·      Borneo Rhino Alliance Facebook and Website

·      Nat Geo Wild’s Mission Critical

·      How you can help


Get in contact with Chris on Facebook


Show Notes:

  • “It’s by far the longest project that I’ve ever worked on and it’s also the most fulfilling” [05:48]
  • “It’s high drama seriously, I could not have written a story like this … there was tragedy, there was hope, there was death, there was everything you could think of in a dramatic novel. This is actual life. This was actually happening.” [10:01]
  • “The main problem right now is that the number of births is far exceeded by the number of deaths” [15:23]
  • Chris shares about some of the groundbreaking work that the Borneo Rhino Alliance are doing to conserve the Sumatran Rhino [20:16]
  • “It’s something that’s never been done before. It’s never been done anywhere in the world. It’s never been done for this species. So they are on experimental ground right now” [30:20]
  • “It’s crazy because not a lot of people are aware about the Sumatran Rhino” [40:19]
  • Do you have any memorable stories about filming the documentary? [49:00]
  • Amra realizes that everyone she’s interviewed so far has started their career doing something completely unrelated to what they’ve ended up doing now [55:11]
  • “There will be a lot of things that life will throw at you to get you to possibly take an easier route, but at the end of the day, you’ve just got to go back to who you are and who that idea of you is” [01:03:04]
  • Three Things [01:06:16] 

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Let me know in the comments!