Lured with watermelon, Harapan, a 13-year-old captive Sumatran rhino moseyed into a metal-framed enclosure rigged with 24 cameras. When he stepped in front of the lenses, all of the cameras snapped at exactly the same millisecond, capturing a stereoscopic array of images. Over the course of several days, Corey Jaskolski, an engineer, inventor, artificial intelligence expert and National Geographic Explorer of the Year, repeated this process over and over again until he had enough photos to create the first 3D digital copy of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). Harapan in the enclosure with the cameras. Image by Corey Jaskolski. “The idea behind this 3D scanning is that instead of just a flat 2D photo or video of the animal walking around, we could actually capture every single side and every bit of the rhino as a model,” Jaskolski told Mongabay. “For the viewer, we could put the rhino … in your room, walking around in front of you, which is what we did at the National Geographic Explorers Fest last year. We had a projection of the rhino appear in the auditorium, so that was during our panel on the Sumatran rhino, the rhino is actually walking through the crowd digitally on the screen.” In 2018, Jaskolski started working with Sumatran Rhino Rescue, a project run collaboratively by National Geographic Society, the Indonesian government, and numerous partner organizations, aimed at saving the species from extinction through an ambitious captive-breeding program. Harapan, born in Cincinnati Zoo but now living…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer