If you’ve seen my stories lately, you’ll have seen that a One-Horned Rhinoceros was found killed by poachers in Kaziranga National Park, Assam. This is truly disgraceful, but this inspired me to create an illustration piece in its honour. 🦏🎨
This is the largest mammal in India. They can grow up to 6ft tall, weigh over 2ts & are surprisingly agile, able to run up to 25mi per hour & maneuver through dense forests with ease due to their armour-like skin that protects them from predators & even from thick thorny bushes.
Whilst they have a reputation for preferring solitude, they can be quite social with other rhinos, as long as they’re not competing for territory or mates. They love to munch on a variety of plants & are thus classified as herbivores!
They are an important & integral part of the ecosystem, maintaining balance & supporting the growth of vegetation in their habitats.
Their single horn, arguably their most unique feature, is made up of compacted hair, not bone or ivory, which makes it more durable but no less attractive to poachers.
Unfortunately, despite their natural defences, this majestic creature is classified as Vulnerable due to habitat loss & continued poaching. Also, despite conservation efforts having literally saved these animals from total extinction, from a mere 600 in 1975, to over 4000 today, poaching continues to be a major threat, with around 190 hunted & killed between 2019 & 2021! It’s incredible that people still believe rhino horn holds medicinal or restorative properties. Truly baffling.
Creating this piece was a bittersweet effort; it made me think of the needless loss of yet another unique animal, but reminds me that there is still so much beauty & life worth highlighting around the world. I know it’s only a drawing but I hope this piece somehow inspires learning more about these incredible animals & supporting efforts to protect them.