Indian Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros unicornis

A tank rhinoceros swimming in the water. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Vulnerable
  • Family
    Rhinoceroses (Rhinocerotidae)
  • Weight
    ♀ 1,6 t, ♂ 2,2 t
  • Habitat
    Open grassland and swamplands

Supposed remedy

The rhino horn in its powdered form is prescribed as a wonder cure for fever, pain and even cancer in traditional Asian medicine. In reality, it is made of keratin – the same material as our fingernails – and has no proven medicinal effect. Yet the demand for rhino horn is the main cause of poaching and endangerment to the population. On Asian black markets it is worth more than its weight in gold.

The picture is a drawing of an Indian rhinoceros head.

Pachyderm with a fi ne nose

The Indian rhinoceros has a grey-brown up to 4 cm thick skin with folds, which has the appearance of a suit of amour. They love to spend hours wallowing in mud or water holes to keep cool. The mud also serves as a natural insect repellent and sunblock. Indian rhinos have relatively poor eyesight, but excellent senses of hearing and smell.

The Indian rhinoceros is under threat due to illegal poaching and habitat loss. Today, only about 3,000 individuals remain in the wild in small areas in India, Bhutan and Nepal.