Greater One-horned Rhinos
Meet our magnificent Greater One-horned Rhinoceros’, Beni and Asha.
Beni born 2004 arrived here in 2011, Asha born 2006 arrived here 2012 – they can live for up to 40 years.
They are pretty prehistoric-looking don't you think? With that thick, silver-brown hide, and folded skin, it looks almost riveted together, a bit like armour-plating.
Despite their bulky size rhinos can run at up to 25 miles an hour and are excellent swimmers.
We are proud to have such magnificent species in Chester and we want to make sure rhinos like these are around for future generations to see.
Beni and our female Greater One-horned Rhino, Asha, who joined us in 2012 from Whipsnade Zoo are valuable members of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. It is a carefully managed scheme overseeing the breeding of zoo animals in different countries.
Not long ago there were less than 200 Greater One-horned Rhinoceros in the wild. They were hunted almost to extinction. Just in time steps were taken to protect them.
Now there are about 2,600, but they still face threats in India and Nepal. Poachers target them for their horns and a lot of land where they once lived has been taken over by farmers so it's important we do all we can to stop their numbers going down to danger levels again.
That's why, through our grants scheme, we also supported Greater One-horned Rhinoceros conservation projects at the Manas National Park at the foothills of the Himalayas in India.
There important work is being done to protect rhinos like Beni and Asha in their natural homelands. Your visits to Chester Zoo help make those grants possible.
Where they live: North-east India and southern Nepal
Habitat: Tall grasslands and adjacent swamps and riverine forests at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains
Length: up to 4m Shoulder height: up to 2m
Weight: Up to 3,000kg
Conservation status: IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
Threats: Historical hunting for sport. Illegal poaching for their horns. Habitat degradation and loss due to agricultural development