Gaur (Indian Bison)
The Gaur or Indian Bison is a large endangered herbivore, often referred as wild
cattle or ox can be seen in protected sanctuaries in India. In the wild its young
are preyed upon by tigers and leopards and the loss of its habitat due to human
encroachment has led to the reduction in its population across India. In North East
India a tame version of the Gaur, known as Mithun is used as a farm animal and is
sacrificed and eaten at ritual feasts.
Zoological name: Bos Gaurus
Range: The Gaur can be seen in the wild in forests of South and
Eastern India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal and Bhutan.
Physical characteristics: The Gaur or Indian Bison is a heavy bovid.
Males are shining black while female are rusty brown. The stocking is an identifying feature of these magnificent animals, the white below the knee appears
like a stocking. The calves are light brown and do not sport the stockings."
Adults grow up to 2 m in height and the weight is 700 to as much as 1000 Kg. Females are smaller in size. the dorsal ridge of old males is very impressive along with the huge dewlap.
Habitat: The Gaur live in evergreen, tropical moist and dry deciduous forests in India. They are gregarious animals and coarse grazers. Hill ranges are their preferred habitat and they migrate to grasslands in summers in search of fodder and water.
The male adults usually live a solitary life or in small herds. During the mating time a struggle for domination takes place. The herd is commanded by the dominent male albeit young males are allowed to remain in the herd. The herd size can go up to forty to fifity animals. Usually one or two fawns are born and the mother takes care of them.
Tourists can see the Gaur in the wild, in the Nagarhole and Bandipur National Parks
in Karnataka India, and Kaziranga and Manas National Parks in Assam in North East
Experience the pleasure of seeing Gaur or Indian Bison on wildlife tours in group packages to India. The animal is found in many National Parks and Sanctuaries of North, East, Peninsular and South India. The best place to see the Gaur in the wild is Kanha National Park, Melghat, Pench Tiger Reserves and Periyar Tiger Reserve.
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