GULDENSCHUH, G. & von HOUWALD, F. (2002)

Husbandry Manual for the Greater One-horned or Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis LINNÉ, 1758).

94 Seiten. Zoo Basel.


To date two husbandry guidelines for Rhinoceroses have been published, the Husbandry Guidelines for Rhinoceroses, edited by Reinhard Göltenboth et al., published in the EEP Yearbook 1994-95 and the AZA Rhinoceros Husbandry Resource Manual, edited by Michael Fouraker & Tarren Wagener (1996). Both guidelines cover all five living rhino species. The Indian or Greater one-horned rhino, however, is in many aspects somewhat atypical. As the International Studbook Keepers and the EEP Species Coordinators we felt the need to have a more specific manual at hand. Using the two general guidelines as a basis, we compiled this mono-specific husbandry manual for the Indian rhino.

The Basel Zoo has been continuously keeping Indian rhinos for almost half a century. So far 27 calves have been born in Basel, including the first captive-born Indian rhino worldwide (male Rudra, 1956). The experiences of a wide variety of collaborators, former and current, of the Basel Zoo, with very different points of view have been summarized in this paper - keepers, technicians, researchers, veterinarians, curators and directors. Further important input came from many other European and American zoos currently keeping Indian rhinos.

These guidelines emphasize the practical aspects of keeping Indian rhinos. In animals with as slow a reproduction as the Indian rhinos, it is often impossible to give recommendations based on statistically sound data. Many observations have been made only a couple of times over a keeper's professional life. Nonetheless, they can give us hints about how to improve our understanding of these beautiful creatures. However, intuition, common sense and good nerves are as important as quantifiable facts if you want to keep Indian rhinos successfully.





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