The number of male rhinoceroses in the forest areas of north Bengal nearly equals the number of females – a statistic that is worrying officials of the State's Forest Department as it is a far cry from the ideal 1:3 ratio that is recommended for the species in the wild. 

Officials have written to their counterparts in Assam's Forest Department proposing an exchange of male rhinos with female rhinos from the Kaziranga National Park to better the skewed sex ratio, Raj K. Mahtolia, Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) told The Hindu over telephone on Sunday.

With a larger number of male rhinoceroses, more clashes between the animals are occurring, leaving them injured. Incidents of females being injured by extreme violence of males when they refused mating have also been reported, said a senior official.

 “We have proposed that we shall exchange 20 male rhinoceroses for 20 female ones. Apart from improving the sex ratio, it will also improve the genetic diversity,” Mr. Mahtolia said.

Keywords: rhinoceroses