Wild greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis), orphaned juveniles in human care, and orphaned calves from Kaziranga National Park, Assam, India were surveyed coprologically for gastrointestinal parasites. Parasite infections were present in 100% of wild rhino samples, 96% of orphaned juvenile samples, and 27% of orphaned calf samples. In wild rhino, observed parasite ova were primarily of trematodes Paramphistomum sp. (100%), followed by those of strongyle nematodes (94%) and the cestode Anoplocephala sp. (56%). Orphaned juvenile and calf samples were positive only for strongyles. Total fecal parasite egg counts were recorded in wild rhino (mean 64 eggs per gram [epg], range 0-270), orphan juveniles (mean 43 epg, range 0-145), and orphan calves (mean 2 epg, range 0-10). Results suggest that parasite infection in rhinos in this setting is common, though more extensive sampling would provide further information on epidemiology and potential impacts on individual health and population viability.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology