Gaur (Bos gaurus)

Gaur

Gaur

The Gaur (Bos gaurus) or Indian Bison is the largest living bovine and occurs in South and Southeast Asia. Males of this species reach a height of more than 2.2 m and can weigh up to 1.5 t! Thereby, they even surpass the related and similarly impressive American Bison (Bison bison). During the last centuries, the habitats of these beasts disappeared increasingly and nowadays populations are very fragmented. Generally, the animals live in dense forests, but they enter open land for grazing or to approach water bodies. Gaur are naturally diurnal, but in areas populated by humans, they can switch to a nocturnal life in order to prevent encounters with people. The animals live in small groups of several females occasionally accompanied by a single male, but older bulls are often solitary. The species has been domesticated in the border region between India and Myanmar and is then called Gayal (sometimes it is consequently placed in a separate species, Bos frontalis). I have photographed these majestic animals during game drives through the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, southern India (September 2011). While most of the animals we saw were females with calves, we also discovered a massive male bull on a night drive. This muscle-bound beast was a really impressive sight and once it got up, it truly towered above our car!

group of Gaur

group of Gaur

group of Gaur

group of Gaur

a massive male Gaur bull at night

a massive male Gaur bull at night

 

 

 

3 responses to “Gaur (Bos gaurus)

  1. Beautiful bovid. I understand that in spite of their massive size they are agile and can leap fences. Not an animal to mess with. Great shots!

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