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The Great Indian Rhinoceros has a single black horn, and a grey brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armoured appearance. It is the largest of the three Asian Rhinoceros with a head-body length of 310-380cm, and a shoulder height of 148-186cm. Solitary by nature rhinos show no true territoriality, although breeding males occupy loose territorial ranges of 2 to 8km.

The Indian rhino, prized for its curative horn,continues to be endangered in its native land, where poachers have developed a new method to bring down their prey: electrocution. While shooting remains the method of choice, high voltage wire strewn across rhino paths are now being deployed, along with another grisly trap--pits lined with sharpened bamboo stakes. In the 1980s and early 1990s, 700 rhinos were claimed for the horn market. The largest seizure ever of rhino horn occurred in 1996: 105 horns valued at $4.7 million were found in two London garages. The horns, poached from white and black rhinos (of which only 10,000 total remain)are an especially-prized commodity in the Chinese medicine trade: one alone was valued at $149,000.

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  • 97
  • Ecology
  • Sep 27, 2000
  • English

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