Wildlife in Chitwan National Park

Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park, located in south-central Nepal, is the country’s first national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to at least 68 species of mammals. The 360 square mile (932 sq. km) area has one of the last populations of the vulnerable Indian rhino (greater one-horned rhinoceros), with an estimated 605 of the 645 left in Nepal. These semi-aquatic animals are very good swimmers that can dive and feed under water. Usually solitary, the males aggressively guard their territories; their violent fights with trespassers sometimes result in deadly injuries.


Chitwan’s elephants spend most of their time grazing in the bush but can be observed interacting with the “mahouts” (elephant caregivers) at the elephant-breeding center. Each morning, they receive food and “kuchiis,” grass wrapped elephant treats filled with molasses, salt and rice.