Friday, October 04, 2019



Roger Smith said...

The Indian Rhino, with the iconic "armor-plating" effect. How many are there left?

Richard Reynolds said...

The Indian rhino now numbers some 3,000 in the wild - - primarily in the Assam province of India and the lowland grasslands of Nepal. At the turn of the last century, they were almost eradicated in India. At that time they were  exceedingly rare in captivity and were greatly prized captive animals. In fact, from 1919 until 1923, there was only one in America. He was Old Bill the prized menagerie attraction of the Ringling -Barnum circus.

The resurgence of the wild population is a real conservation  success. Even more impressive has been the recent breeding success in a number of zoos. The first captive birth of an Indian rhino took place in 1824 in the King of Nepal's menagerie in Kathmandu. That animal  was sold through Calcutta. It may have wound up in America  with one of the 1830s traveling menageries.

There was not a another successful captive birth for 132 years or until 1956 at the zoo in Basel, Switzerland. Since then there have been many in zoos. San Diego zoo alone has had over 70 of them born.