Asian elephants form a significant part of Indian history and play a major role in ways of life here, with most temples being related to them in one way or another. Shorter than their African counterparts, they also have smaller ears and a more arched back. They are highly social animals, gathering into matriarchal units: these are stable groups, which may consist of more than 20 related females. A rare treat when on a wildlife safari through India’s National Parks.
Greater One-horned Rhino
The greater one-horned rhino (or “Indian rhino”) is the largest of the rhino species. The greater one-horned rhino is identified by a single black horn about 8-25 inches long and a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which gives it an armor-plated appearance. The species is solitary, except when adult males or rhinos nearing adulthood gather at wallows or to graze. Males have loosely defined home ranges that are not well defended and often overlap. They primarily graze, with a diet consisting almost entirely of grasses as well as leaves, branches of shrubs and trees, fruit, and aquatic plants.
Sloth bears have a patchy but widespread distribution in India, and are found mainly in areas with dense forest cover like Ranthambore National Park Compared to the brown and black bears found throughout Eurasia and North America, sloth bears are lankier, shaggier and can be easily identified by their fluffy mane as well as their long, sickle-like claws and elongated lower lip, which they use to hunt for insects. They have a keen sense of smell, as well as near-sight similar to that of humans.