A male Sumatran rhinoceros left Indonesia for California, where he will be bred in a bid to ensure survival of the double-horned animal, an official said this week.

The 1.2-ton rhino was placed aboard a special cargo vessel that left Jakarta Tuesday for Los Angeles via Amsterdam.The rhino will be bred in captivity with three female rhinos, an official said.

It was not disclosed when the male rhino was caught. Under a U.S.-Indonesian agreement, rhinos shipped for breeding will be returned to Sumatra along with their offspring.

A team of U.S. zoologists is providing technical support to the Indonesian goverment in hopes of securing the long-term survival of the species in its natural ecosystems.

Indonesia cooperated with Britain in rhinoceros breeding programs from 1985-87.