Javan Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros sondaicus

The Javan Rhinoceros used to be one of the most widespread of Asian rhinoceroses, ranging from the islands of Indonesia, throughout Southeast Asia, and into India and China. Unfortunately, some cultures in East Asia have the largely bogus belief that its horn has healing power, and so due to poaching this species is now critically endangered, with no population in zoos and only two known populations in the wild: there are 40–50 animals in the island of Java in Indonesia and a small population (around 10 animals in 2007) in Vietnam.

This rhinoceros seems to use its horn for scraping mud away in wallows, pulling down plants for eating, and opening paths through thick vegetation. For fighting, the Javan Rhinoceros seems not to use its horn, but rather its long lower incisors.

The Javan Rhinoceros is solitary, although it sometimes congregates in small groups at salt licks and mud wallows. As other rhinos, the Javan Rhinoceros likes to wallow in mud, because this allows it to maintain a cool body temperature and helps it to prevent diseases.

This picture was taken at the Scienceworks museum in Melbourne, Australia, in January 2005.

Genus Rhinoceros
Family Rhinocerotidae
Order Perissodactyla
Subclass Eutheria
Class Mammalia
Subphylum Vertebrata
Phylum Chordata
Kingdom Animalia
Life on Earth