The Rhinos of Nepal exhibit provides a fantastic home for our greater one horned rhinos, highlighting ZSL's conservation work with these 'armour-plated giants'.
Meet our rhinos
- Hugo - Our male rhino Hugo was born in Rotterdam Zoo in Holland. He's a gentle giant who loves to swim and can often be seen relaxing in his indoor pool. He's a bit goofy and keepers describe him as a 'lovable Labrador'. He loves a fuss and enjoys being trained by his keepers, as long as there are apples involved!
- Behan - She's a pretty relaxed and easy going rhino, but also loves attention and is known for getting 'hangry'. Her favourite food is watermelon. Keepers describe her as a strong independent woman! Behan has had five calves, including our newest arrival, Zhiwa.
- Beluki - She loves to mud wallow and enjoys a slower pace of life. Her favourite thing to do is to be showered with the hose.
- Zhiwa - Adorable baby Zhiwa was born to mum Behan and dad Hugo on Sunday 8 December. She's the 15th greater one-horned rhino to be born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
About the exhibit
The £1m development features indoor heated pools so that the rhinos can enjoy their favourite past time – wallowing in muddy water – all year round. A spacious viewing area allows the public to get a close-up view of the rhinos indoors as well as outdoor viewing of them in their paddock.
A walk across to the “maternity wing” takes visitors through the specially-designed watch tower, modelled on those used by conservationists to spot rhino in the field.
Rhinos of Nepal is ZSL’s first fully “green” exhibit. The building utilises recycled and local materials where possible (such as recycled railway sleepers and local sandstone). Making use of natural sunlight, and unique water treatment systems linked to a reed bed system to filter waste water before it drains away.
There are also many other features, such as rubberised flooring for improved foot care, safe animal confinement for training, and flexible stall spaces within a well-ventilated environment.
Species: Greater one-horned rhinoceros
Latin name: Rhinoceros unicornis
What they look like: The greater one-horned rhinoceros has thick grey skin, changing to pink in the folds and of course a distinctive horn on the end of its nose, as well as small bumps on their shoulders and upper legs.
What they eat: Grasses, fruit, leaves, shrub and tree branches.
Habitat: The species mainly inhabits grasslands, but has been known to live by swamps and forests.
Where they live: India and Nepal.
Threats: Habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching for their horns.
- There are only around 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos left in the wild. The overall population has slowly increased from as few as 200 at the beginning of the 20th century.
- The populations in zoos is now stable and viable as an insurance policy in case of extinctions of the wild populations.
- Greater one-horned rhinos are the second largest species of rhino, after the white rhino.
- They have the most folded skin of all rhino species. The folds help it to regulate body temperature by increasing the surface area.
- Instead of using their horn to fight, the males use their long, sharp lower teeth.
- They have a folding upper lip that can grasp leaves and twigs but can fold it away to graze on the tall grass of the terrain.
ZSL's conservation work with the greater one-horned rhino
The greater one-horned rhino is restricted to less than a dozen protected areas, scattered across north and north-eastern India and southern Nepal. At ZSL, we're working to protect this amazing species in Nepal. Find out how.