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Indian Rhino

The Indian Rhino is one of the five kinds of Rhinos found in the world. Also called the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros and Asian One-horned Rhinoceros, most of their population are found in parts of northeast India in one of the world's most well-known national park, Kaziranga. The park is home to a total of 2,000 rhinos out of the entire 3,000 living in the wild. Some are found in the protected areas in the Terai of Nepal. They are found mostly in riverine grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas. Centuries ago, they were found all across the north Indian plains in the wetlands of the rivers Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra.

Physical Characteristics: A distinctive feature of the Indian Rhino is its one horn. The other species of rhino, White Rhino, Black Rhino, Javan Rhino and Sumatran Rhino, have two. The Indian Rhino is distinguished for their skin with loose folds giving the animal an armoured look. It is extremely huge; the males weigh an average 2200 kg and the female 1600 kg. Their lifespan is about 40 years. They grow to a height of 5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in and up to 4 13 ft long. Their horn is black in colour and it starts to show when they reach 6 years. It is made of pure keratin and grows to a length of about 25 cm. Their horn curves backwards from the nose.

General Information: The Indian Rhinos thrive on areas like the marshy lowland and reedbeds and found in places where tall grass grow and bushes with patches of savannah. They are herbivores feeding on grass, fruits, leaves and crops. They have well developed upper lips for uprooting tall elephant grasses, their favourite, and other aquatic plants. They eat and prefer to roam mostly in the morning and evening to avoid the heat during the day. Other times they spend hours lying in the water and in the mud. It is usually solitary.

The swamps and grasslands of Kaziranga National Park provide a home for the Rhino and its thickets of elephant grass and patches of evergreen forest provide their food. The 430-sq-kms enclosure came under wildlife conservation in 1926 to protect the rapidly declining rhino population. The Manas National Park also in Assam is the only other place where the Indian Rhinos can be found.

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