An extremely large muscular wild cattle species known as ‘Gaur’ (Bos Gaurus) is native to South and South east Asia. Domesticated form of gaur is called ‘Gayal’.
They are the largest bovine in the world, and tallest among the wild cattle species. They can weight a massive 1 ton for females and males can weight up to 1.5 ton. Height of these animals is equally impressive from 5 ft to 7 ft tall, and as much as 8 ft to 10 ft in length.
One can easily see the thick black coat that shapes their muscular body so well. A short tail compared to their massive bulky body, with a high ridge, they have very large ‘u’ shaped horns. On top of the head they have a white patch. Unlike the common domestic cow, under their necks gaurs have a “dewlap” of skin, which stretches from their throats to their forelegs. Their legs are characterized by white color as if they are wearing socks.
There are different subspecies found across each geography, in Bangladesh they are usually found in hilly areas such as ‘Chittagong Hill’ tracks, ‘Bandarban’. They prefer to live in hilly areas with dense vegetation.
Diet of such massive creatures consists of grasses, bamboo, shrubs and trees. Green grass is the main staple food for the gaur. It does, however, also feed on flowers, cashews, teak bark, young bamboo shoots, herbs, shrubs, and fruits. It feeds by grazing on plains during the day, or by browsing on trees or woody herbs.
Gaurs mature quickly within 2-3 years, one calf is given every 9 months. Breeding takes place whole year, but the peak mating seasons occur in the cold months. Milk from this species contains more protein, while the meat is very healthy it contains less fat.