Greater one-horned rhinoceros

Greater one-horned rhino Hugo at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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. 


    Key facts 

    • 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

    Learn more about our conservation work

    Conservation Status