The Javan Rhino is the most shy of all rhinos, using their dung and urine to communicate instead of sound.
Amazing Facts About the Javan Rhinoceros
- The Javan Rhino, also known as the ‘Sunda Rhino’ or the ‘lesser one-horned rhino’, is only found in the lowland tropical rainforests of one location in the world, the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. It used to roam all over Asia from northern India, through to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and another Indonesian island, Sumatra.
- Unlike humans that have evolved steadily to the way we look today, the Javan Rhino is believed to have remained the same for over one million years!
- In the wild they can live up to 35-40 years.
- They are smaller than the Indian Rhino but still weigh about 1.5- 2.3 tonnes. That is about double the weight of an average car.
- They have grey or grey- brown skin with thick folds making them appear like they are wearing armour for battle. However, as they spend the day bathing in mud holes most of the time their skin will appear black.
- They have a single horn measuring up to 20 cm long. That is just over the size of a pen or the width of an A4 piece of paper. The Rhino uses its horn to scrape mud from the sides of wallows, to get food from plants and to protect its head when travelling through thick vegetation.
- Like horse hooves, if the horn breaks off it will just grow back.
- The Javan Rhino has a pointed upper lip that helps it to grab food.
- Javan Rhinos are herbivores (only eat vegetation). They eat a huge variety of different leaves, young shoots and twigs that grow in unshaded areas and they eat a lot of it. It is estimated that they eat up to 50kg (110lb) every day. That equals the red meat an average American eats in a whole year.
- Do not approach a Javan Rhino! They are aggressive and will attack humans charging their long, sharp lower teeth into victims and potentially causing dangerous, often deadly wounds.
- Unlike the other rhinos that are very vocal, the Javan Rhino is a quiet animal which has made them difficult to study. Instead of sound, the Javan Rhino communicates with the sense of smell using dung heaps and urine spraying. Sometimes, they drag the dung with their hind foot for several meters.
- Rhinos are generally solitary animals other than mothers with their calves and pairs in courtship or breeding.
- Pregnancy of a Javan Rhino lasts between 16-19 months. That is double the time it takes for a human to grow!
- Sadly, these ancient beasts are becoming ever so rare with only 60 individuals left in the wild. They are classified as Critically Endangered.
- In 2011, the second population found in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam was confirmed as extinct. Tragically, the last remaining rhino from this population was shot by poachers and its horn removed.
- Type: Mammal
- Diet: Herbivore
- Lifespan: 30-40 years
- Size: Length 10-10.5 feet (3-3.2m)
- Weight: 1,984-5,071 lbs (900- 2,300 kg)
- Habitat: Tropical forests
- Range: Java, Indonesia
- Scientific name: Rhinoceros sondaicus