In Quest for the One-Horned Rhinoceros, we travel in a remote state on the northeastern cusp of India called Assam. Itís a throne-room of rushing rivers, raving monsoons and the most soothing of tea. But perhaps most thrilling of all, Assam is home to a staggering range of wildlife. One animal, the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, stands as a special symbol to the people here. We are off to find what the one-horned rhino means to the people of Assam, and why it flourishes here as in no other place.
Somewhere in the far, far reaches of India, in the shadow of the Himalayas, along the misty banks of the Brahmaputra River glides a grey blur that almost became a ghostóthe one-horned rhinoceros. Itís a rare species that a hundred years ago nearly vanished from the face of the earth. What kept the rhino from falling into the chasm of extinction? In this documentary Richard examines what the rhinoís story can teach us about our world today; about saving precious wildlife, andófor that matteróall living things.
Quest for the One-Horned Rhino takes place in Assam, a fertile valley in northeastern India. Itís a sweep of farmland and wildlife ranges, peppered with cities and towns. We begin our journey in Manas National Park, and travel to villages near Guwahati, Assamís largest city. We sail the great Brahmaputra River, visit Majuli Island, and end in Kaziranga National Park.
For many Westerners, India conjures images of frenetic cities, filled with economic extremes, or daunting hikes up Himalayan slopes. But our focus this trip is different. The quiet state of Assam floats like a kite off the shoulder of mainland India. Itís a place of deep, rich culture and conservation work thatís been remarkably successful
Rhinos once roamed the earth. Not long ago, Africa teemed with them, too many to count. But today that continent is almost empty of the tank-like beasts. While in Assam there are still tracks where thousands roam. What went right in Assam? What threats still exist and what help is still needed? What can we learn?
Ultimately we conclude that Assamís record is enviable but going forward more help will be needed. New visionaries, like guide Avinash Kohli, are stepping up to encourage visitors to come to Assam, to experience the wonder of these magnificent animals in this wild place, and to be part of a movement that sustains rhino footsteps far into the future.
Assam Tourism official website