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The largest of the three Asian species of rhino could once be found across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent.  Today, populations can be found in Southern Nepal, northern Bengal and the Brahmaputra Valley.  

Like the four other species of rhinos, the greater one horned was hunted extensively, particularly during the 19th century.  Populations were depleted so much that by 1975 the numbers had dropped to below 600 individuals pushing the species dangerously close to extinction.  Rigorous conservation efforts have seen the species (also known as the Indian rhino) recover to an estimated 3,000 today.

The greater one-horned rhino is also the most aggressive of the five rhino species and although they have loosely defined territories, males will fight aggressively to protect their preferred habitual areas, although females can pass through territories safely.  


GREATER ONE HORNED RHINOS

“INDIAN RHINOS”

Scientific name:

Rhinoceros unicornis

Nickname:

The Indian rhino

Subspecies:

N/A

IUCN Conservation status:

Vulnerable (VU)

CITES appendix status

Appendix. I

Wild population:

Approximately 3,500

Distribution:

Southern Bengal, northern Nepal and India

Habitat:

Swamps, forests and riversides of India and Nepal

Diet:

Grass, fruits, leaves, branches, shrubs and aquatic plants

The greater one-horned rhino is a browser

Average height:

1.7 - 2 meters

Average weight:

1800kg - 2500kg

Average length:

3 - 3.8 meters

Skin colour:

Ashy grey

Average horn length:

20cm - 60cm

Speed:

Up to 40km/h (running)

Social:

Solitary

Temperament:

Males fight violently and can be aggressive

Average lifespan:

40 -50 years

Gestation:

15 - 16 months

Birth intervals:

1 - 3 years

Sexual maturity:

5 -7 years (females)

10 years (males)

Fun facts:

Males use their teeth when fighting more than their horns