Rhinoceros Popularity

Rhinos are one of the world’s most popular animals and are sadly on the verge of extinction. Day by day rhinos are killed for their horns which are wrongly believed to have medicinal properties. This results in a loss of life and the orphaning of rhinoceros calves. In order to prevent this, zoos and wildlife parks worldwide are striving to protect an animal that is a relic of prehistoric times. The importance of rhinos is showcased at many a zoo although for most people it is seeing a wild rhinoceros that is more important. There are five species of Rhinoceros, three Asian, the Indian rhinoceros, the Javan rhinoceros and the Sumatran rhinoceros and two African, the Square-lipped or white rhinoceros and the hook-lipped or black rhinoceros. While both the black and the white rhinoceros are restricted mainly to Southern and East Africa, the Indian rhinoceros is found in not just India but Nepal as well while the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Javan rhinoceros are present only in Southeast Asia. Two national parks in the world where rhinos are popular are Chitwan national park in Nepal and Nakuru national park in Kenya. The world of the rhinoceros in both these national parks are similar and different in every way and this does not apply just to the rhinoceros alone but also to the many animals that share the home of the rhinoceros in the wild who are as wonderful as the rhinoceros
1.    The Indian rhinoceros and the white rhinoceros in Chitwan and Nakuru respectively are the highlights of the national parks that they are found in. They are also the largest of their respective species’, the white rhinoceros is the larger of Africa’s two rhinoceros species while the Indian rhinoceros is the largest of all Asian rhinos. However, the Indian rhinoceros is larger than the white rhinoceros and both black and white rhinos are found in Nakuru national park


2.     Chitwan is part of the Terai region of South-Central Nepal extending into Northeast India. Similarly, Nakuru is part of the Great Rift Valley that spreads through East Africa and Central Africa as well as Ethiopia

3.     Chitwan consists of mainly forests and grassland although there is more forest than grassland. However, this is completely reversed in Nakuru where there is more grassland than forest. Nonetheless, both national parks are still a rhino’s paradise although the former is neighboured by other national parks unlike the latter which is named after a lake in the park


4.     Conservation measures to protect rhinos in Chitwan takes place between India and Nepal where rhinos may be shipped to or from for the national parks in these places where they make their home. Rhinos from India may be shipped from India to Nepal where they find a home in Chitwan. A similar procedure occurs in Kenya where white rhinos from South Africa may be shipped to Kenya where they are introduced into Nakuru. White rhinos do not occur naturally in Kenya given the decline of the Kenyan population and as with the rest of Kenya most of the white rhinos seen in Nakuru are either from South Africa or Namibia
5.     Unlike rhinos in Chitwan which may be unpredictable and prone to sometimes charging tourists, rhinos in Nakuru are accustomed to the presence of tourists although when it comes to the latter, the black rhinoceros like the Indian rhinoceros is more aggressive and unpredictable unlike the white rhinoceros which is a docile and peace-loving animal
6.      Rhinos face no competition from elephants in either Chitwan or Nakuru since elephants do not occur naturally in either national park though in the case of the former, rhinos may encounter domesticated elephants ferrying tourists into the wild and this may cause an unintentional conflict between both elephant and rhinoceros. Elephants may also enter the valleys of Chitwan from the neighbouring Valmiki national park in search of potential mates


7.       In Chitwan, the cats that share the home of the rhinoceros include the tiger, the leopard, the jungle cat, the fishing cat and the leopard cat. In Nakuru the only cats that share their home with the rhinoceros are the lion, the leopard and the cheetah. Both tigers and lions in Chitwan and Nakuru respectively will sometimes attempt to take rhinos for food although they are likely to have more success with sick or weak rhinos as well as unprotected calves although they risk being charged at by the mothers. Otherwise the rhinoceros is not an animal on the menu for a big cat
8.     In Chitwan as well as the rhinoceros, the other giants of the national park are the gaur or Indian bison and the sloth bear. In addition to the rhinoceros in Nakuru other giants in the national park are the African buffalo and the giraffe. However, regarding the members of the cattle family that share the home of the rhinoceros, the gaur is a peaceable gentle animal while the African buffalo is regarded to be among the most dangerous animals in Africa. In the case of Chitwan’s giants only two are herbivores while all of Nakuru’s giants are herbivores
9.     The dhole or Indian wild dog is a rare sight in Chitwan and so too is the golden jackal. In Nakuru the only species of wild dog present is the black-backed jackal. Jackals in both Chitwan and Nakuru may attempt to snatch young rhinos who are unprotected, but they may risk being charged at by the protective mothers.

10.   While crocodiles occur in Chitwan, there are no crocodiles in Nakuru


11.   Wild boar are common in Chitwan. In Nakuru, the only member of the pig family is the  warthog
12.   There are many species of deer in Chitwan such as the muntjac, the chital deer (also known as the axis or spotted deer), the sambar deer and the hog deer. Similarly, many species of antelope are found in Nakuru such as the gazelle, the impala, the eland, the wildebeest and the waterbuck
13.   As much as Chitwan is considered a rhino’s paradise it is also considered a bird’s paradise since there are numerous species of birds inhabiting the park. The same is also said of Nakuru although unlike Chitwan, Nakuru was once designated a bird sanctuary
14.   Many species of snakes including venomous snakes like the cobra inhabit Chitwan. The only snake present in Nakuru is the python 
15.   In Chitwan, there are two ways in which to go on safari to see rhinos and other wildlife; one is of course going by a safari jeep or rover and the other option is something that is as celebrated in Nepal as it is in India and that is riding an elephant into the jungle. In Nakuru, safari in a jeep is the only option to go out to explore the world of Nakuru

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