The Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is the largest of three different species of rhinoceros living in Asia. Apart from mothers with their calves, these rhinos live alone, though occasionally several come together at muddy wallows or good grazing areas. They live in home ranges of 2-8sq km, which overlap with those of other rhinos. Meetings between neighbouring rhinos are often aggressive affairs. Although Indian rhinoceroses usually flee when disturbed, they sometimes charge at humans. Females with calves are particularly dangerous, and several fatal attacks are recorded every year in Nepal and India.

This species used to be common in north-western India and Pakistan until around 1600, when large areas of lush lowland grasslands were turned into farmland. As well as losing much of their prime habitat, rhinos came into conflict with farmers and sportsmen. By the early 1900s the species was close to extinction. International law now protects these rhinos, and their numbers have increased. There are now around 2000 individuals in the wild.

Gallery Edit

ARKive photos and videos of the Indian rhinoceros

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