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Indian Gaur


kanha-flora-fauna The Gaur or Indian Bison is a large endangered herbivore, and 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, which is known as Mithun, is used as a farm animal and sacrificed and eaten at ritual feasts. Gaurs are endangered with only around a 1000 left in the wild. Their numbers are threatened by human encroachment of their habitat. Diseases of domestic cattle are also a threat to the survival of Gaur in the wild.

Indian Gaur

Indian Gaurs are found on the forested hills and grassy areas. They are largely confined to evergreen forests or semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests, but also occur in deciduous forest areas at the periphery of their range. Weight of adult male is between 600 kg to 1500 kg., and the weight of adult female is between 400 kg to 1000 kg. Size between 240 cm to 340 cm. and the length of tail is between 70 cm to 105 cm. Both sexes carry horns, which grow from the sides of the head. Length of the horns is in between 60 to 110 cm. Color of the horns is pale green or yellowish brown throughout the greater part of their length. Scientific name of Indian Gaur is Bos frontalis.


Indian Gaur or Indian Bison is a large animal. Male Gaurs are black in color, while female Gaurs are brown. Both the hide of male and female Gaurs is white below the knee of each leg, giving the gaur an appearance of wearing white stockings. Gaurs calves are light brown and do not have "stockings". Adult Gaur bulls can grow almost 2 m tall and weigh from 650 to 1000 Kg. Female Gaur are smaller in size. Older male Gaurs have a big dorsal ridge along the length of their backs and huge dewlaps. The Gaur lives in grassy clearings and in evergreen and deciduous forest. Indian Gaurs are social animal so they live in small herds. They reach sexual maturity between 2 to 3.5 years.

Indian Gaurs in Kanha Forest

Kanha Tiger Reserve and National Park of Madhya Pradesh have significant population of Indian gaur. Indian Gaur is the largest mammal of the Kanha National park and killed by only Bengal tiger. The recent of fauna in Kanha National Park give a census report of 22 species of mammals in which most commonly seen Kanha mammal is Indian Gaur or Bison. Here I want to tell you a real story of Kanha National park related to Kanha Gaur that it was the incident of year-end of 2008. An old aged Gaur (Indian Bison) was attacked by tiger on his rump. It was bleeding abundandly which made the Gaur fell down. Tiger sat down in front of him and was waiting for him to die as injured Gaur becomes more dangerous. Due to severe pain and in-ability of stand-up, Gaur was groaning loudly and keeps on attempting to stand up. Hearing the groaning call of a Gaur, near-by herd of Gaurs reached the spot where tiger was still present. Young Gaurs charged on tiger and pushed himself away from site of injured Gaur. As the news of such attack spread among forest guards and through them to safari jeeps, many tourist jeeps started reaching the spot with expectation of tiger-sighting. Presence of so, many safari jeeps and human beings around him, injured gaur felt uncomfortable. Realizing the situation, park management banned the safari jeeps entry on that particular site for few days. It was observed that herd of that Gaur remain their till death of injured Gaur and then they left the place. As soon as they left the place, the tiger that attacked on the Gaur reached the place and consumed the dead body of Gaur. The best sighting of Indian Gaur is during summers when they descend down to meadows for water and fresh grass. Gaur is identified by a prominent dorsal ridge on the back. They are often said to be 'wearing white socks' due to the white color below the knees. It is sighted in all prominent National Parks of Central India.

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