GREATER ONE-HORNED RHINO (GOHR)
The Greater One-Horned Rhino is the second largest land mammal in India – after his partner in crime, the Indian Elephant. There are only about 3500 of them in the wild, mostly in the state of Assam.
Covered in thick armour-like hide, GOHRs don’t like the heat and spend most of the day wallowing in pools. They are active at night and at the wee hours. They can run frighteningly fast for short distances and are wonderful swimmers so if you see one speeding towards you, find a tree or pray.
GOHRS DEFECATE NEAR OTHER DUNG PILES AND MARK THEIR PRESENCE USING THEIR PEDAL GLANDS. THIS MAKES FINDING THEIR DUNG FAIRLY PREDICTABLE, WHICH MEANS MORE POO FOR US AND MORE PAPER FOR YOU.
Rhino horns are made of Keratin, the same protein that makes up hair and fingernails. These horns are highly
sought after by poachers, and is the primary reason for the near extinction of these magnificent animals.
Greater One-horned rhinos are friendly and sociable with each other as long as there is only one dominant male around. Rhino on rhino violence is a major cause of mortality, rivalled only by poaching.
The Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros is listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union
for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and their hunting been prohibited in India since 1910.
Despite this ban, there is rampant poaching of Greater One-Horned Rhinos for their horns which are prized
for their variety of uses in Asian traditional medicine.
Although the numbers have been slowly rising, the Greater One-Horned Rhino still sits on the edge of extinction.
THE INDIAN ELEPHANT
The largest land mammal in India, the Indian Elephant has been an inextricable part of Indian culture and folklore. Elephants were once abundant all over India, but their population is now restricted to small pockets of protected habitats throughout the country.
Indian Elephants are smaller than their African cousins and relatively docile when left alone. They would rather flee than fight, and their laid back nature makes them easy prey for poachers.
Elephants were first domesticated 5000 years ago during the Indus Valley Civilization. Today they are listed as an endangered species by the IUCN, numbering around 30,000 in the wild. The population of Asiatic Elephants has declined by over 50% in the last three generations alone.
Their ivory tusks continue to remain in high demand for their ornamental value, making them a prized target for poachers. Encroachment by humans into the elephants’ grazing and roaming areas has caused many direct confrontations, especially in highly populous states.
INDIAN ELEPHANTS CAN LIVE UP TO 70 YEARS AND SPEND ABOUT 16 HOURS A DAY EATING.
Indian Elephants are very sociable animals and live in herds of up to 200 members. They can eat 250 kgs of plant matter every single day and excrete as much as 50% of what they eat. Since their diet is all vegetarian, the waste produced is basically cellulose; raw material from which paper is made.