Seeing the Indian One Horned Rhino was one of my goals for my trip to India, so I had arranged to visit Kaziranga National Park in Assam, where most of the world's remaining population resides. The world has approximately 3,000 of these animals left, and approximately 2,200 live in Kaziranga (figures vary slightly depending on the source and the date of count, but there is no dispute that at least 2/3 of the remaining rhinos are in Kaziranga).
Having seen white and black rhino in Africa, I expected seeing the Indian rhino would be the same...but it was not! Hopefully this and the posts to come will show why. I saw a lot of these rhinos, more than I expected, and under a variety of interesting conditions. I am starting with one of my favorite sightings.
I took a 6:00am morning elephant ride into the park. The park is beautiful, with meadows and hills and great scenery. There is a lot of tall elephant grass but also patches of shorter grass. The elephants went out into the tall grass and came across a resting rhino. I have never seen a rhino laying down in the wild before. It was so awesome to be able to see a rhino in its natural habitat, peaceful, comfortable, resting, and relaxed.
The rhino was not bothered by the elephants and the other people on elephant back were quiet and respectful. After some minutes of laying there and being photographed, the rhino slowly got up and and went about its day.