In The Wild
In the wild, greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) can be found in Assam, India and over the border into Nepal. They inhabit tall grass forests, but increasingly they have to use more cultivated land as man has encroached on their habitat. They use their semi-prehensile upper lip to grasp tall grasses but will also eat leaves, shrubs, bark and fruits.
Male rhinos are solitary, with unstructured, overlapping territories. Female rhinos are also solitary except when they are with their calves.
This species of rhino is more aquatic than others and readily swim and wade. It will also feed on aquatic grass-like plants. Indian rhinos have poor vision, however they make up for it with good hearing and sense of smell.
In the past, they could be found across the entire northern part of the Indian subcontinent. However populations have declined drastically due to habitat destruction, sport hunting, and poaching. The species was on the brink of extinction at the beginning of the 20th century. Strict protection by the Indian and Nepalese wildlife authorities has helped these populations to begin the long road of recovery.
They are still threatened by habitat quality loss due to severe invasion of alien plants and loss of wetlands and grasslands due to forest encroachment. Another severe threat is poaching, mainly for the use of the horn in traditional Chinese medicine.