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
    Vulnerable
    Population
    Increasing
    Order
    Perissodactyla
    Family
    Rhinocerotidae