The Indian, Sumatran and Javan—all of the three rhinoceroses of Asia once roamed the land, which we today call Bangladesh.
From the Sundarbans, to the coastal marshes, to the forests of eastern Bangladesh—rhinoceroses stomped and grazed with pride. By the late 19th century, rhinoceroses ceased to exist in the mangroves and marshes.
Although they may have enjoyed a little respite for a little longer in the rugged terrains of the Hill Tracts, today, all three rhinoceroses are severely threatened with extinction.
Species profile and global status
Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) vulnerable
Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) critically endangered
Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) critically endangered
Of the three, the Indian rhinoceros is somewhat in a stable state. Spread across the plains of Nepal and eastern India, today, they are numbered around 4,000 individuals. The Sumatran and Javan rhinoceroses are truly on their last legs as only a few 100 specimens are surviving in the ever-vanishing jungles of the Indonesian archipelago.
Several breeding programmes have been taken to save these rhinos, but there has been no mentionable success so far. The female Sumatran rhinoceros called 'Begum' was perhaps the last of its kind that had been collected from the Sundarbans and later shown at the London Zoo from 15 February 1872 to 31 August 1900.