Indian Rhino

Indian Rhinoceros

The Indian Rhinoceros or the Great One-horned Rhinoceros is a large mammal found in Nepal and in Assam, India. It is confined to the tall grasslands and forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. The Indian Rhinoceros can run as fast as 55 km/h for short periods of time and is also an excellent swimmer. It has an excellent sense of hearing and smell but relatively poor eyesight.

This prehistoric-looking rhinoceros has thick, silver-brown skin which creates huge folds all over its body. Its upper legs and shoulders are covered in wart-like bumps, and it has very little body hair. With size equal to that of the white rhino in Africa, it is the fourth-largest land animal, after the three elephant species. Fully grown males are larger than females in the wild, weighing from 2200 – 3000 kg (4,800 – 6,600 lb). The average height of the species is 1.70 m (5.7 feet) and the average length is 3.50 m (11.7 feet). The record-sized specimen of this rhino was approximately 3500 kg. The Great One-Horned Rhinoceros has a single horn; this is present in both males and females, but not on newborn young. The horn, like human fingernails, is pure keratin and starts to show after about one year. It reaches a length of between 20 and 61 cm.

The rhino once inhabited areas from Pakistan to Burma and may have even roamed Myanmar and China. But because of human influence their range has shrunk and now they only exist in small populations in northeastern India and Nepal.

The Indian Rhinoceros are grazer. Their diet includes grasses, leaves, aquatic plants and fruits. Feeding occurs during the morning and evening where they use their prehensile lip to grasp grass stems. Indian rhinos use lower incesor teeth as a slashing weapon. It should be noted that Indian rhinos does not use their horn as an weapon. Indian rhinos have few natural enemies, except for tigers. Tigers sometimes kill unguarded calves, but adult rhinos are less vulnerable due to their huge size and dangerous weapons. However, there is a recorded instance of a tiger killing a full-grown female Indian rhino.