Indian Rhinoceros



Rhinoceroses are most active at night. They like to bathe and wallow in the mud, which may help them regulate body temperature and escape pesky flies. Birds also hitchhike on the backs of rhinos, helping them with their insect pests. Rhinos rarely form groups, but they are generally not territorial.


Rhinoceroses are herbivores. They mainly eat grass, but also consume fruit, leaves, branches, and cultivated crops.

Life Cycle

Females usually reproduce about every three years, and births occur year-round. Newborns can sometimes be four feet long and weigh as much as 178 pounds! Calves remain with their mothers up to one week before the birth of the next calf, at which point the mother rhino chases her older calf away. Indian rhinos can live into their forties.

Some of My Neighbors

Tigers, Asian elephants, Gharials, Clouded leopards, Sloth bears, Gaur

Population Status & Threats

The Indian rhinoceros is classified as endangered. Its total population is estimated at a mere 2,000 individuals. Habitat loss and poaching are the biggest threats, but rhino horn is prized in traditional Asian medicines and as a material for dagger handles in the Middle East.

WCS Conservation Efforts

WCS has supported decades of conservation efforts in rhino habitat throughout continental Asia, India, Indochina, and the South Pacific. Conservationists are working to protect the remaining strongholds for the highly endangered Sumatran rhinos, including Kaeng Krachan National Park in Thailand and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park in Sumatra. The WCS-India program conducts site-based conservation in the country’s national reserve to protect endangered landscape animals including rhinos, tigers, leopards, wild dogs, elephants, and other large ungulates. Read more about our work in India.

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