Chennai

With 2 newborns, Vandalur has 21 gaurs

The two newborn gaur calves – a male and a female – with their mothers at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Photo:Special Arrangement.

The two newborn gaur calves – a male and a female – with their mothers at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Photo:Special Arrangement.  

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The International Union for Conservation of Nature has categorised the animals as ‘Vulnerable’

Gaurs display a sense of family at two special enclosures in the Aringar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur. Four-year-old Rema is playing with her newborn male calf, and six-year-old Kaveri, with a newborn female calf.

The male gaur calf was born to Rema on October 8; it is her first child.

The female gaur calf was born to Kaveri on October 15. Both the calves were sired by nine-year-old Vijay, also born in captivity at the Vandalur zoo.

With the birth of these calves, the total number of gaurs at the zoo has gone up to 21, including 12 male gaurs. In March this year, two male calves were born at the zoo, one to 12-year-old Geetha and the other to seven-year-old Lakshmi.

Gaurs have one calf — occasionally, two — after a long gestation period of about 275 days, which is a few days less than the gestation period for domestic cattle.

Calves are typically weaned after seven to 12 months. Sexual maturity occurs in a gaur’s second or third year. Breeding takes place round the year, but typically peaks between December and June.

“Though referred to as Indian Bison, this species is the heaviest and strongest of all wild cattle. The lifespan of the animal in the wild is around 20 years and it might live for five more years in captivity,” says zoo director and additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests K.S.S.V.P. Reddy.

“The specialty of a gaur infant is that it stands up and starts moving around in just about 10 minutes, which is not the case with other species. The infants are on a special diet comprising coconut, bananas, Channa and greens, in addition to milk. The mothers and the calves are being kept away from other animals as a precaution,” Mr. Reddy said.

The population of Indian Gaur (Bos gaurs) declined overall by at least 30 per cent during the last three generations.

As a consequence, they are categorised as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

They are listed in Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and are included in the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Hunting of these species is an offence for which lawbreakers would be fined Rs.25,000, with imprisonment from three to seven years.



“Though referred to as Indian Bison, this species is the heaviest and strongest of all wild cattle. Its lifespan in the wild is around 20 years”



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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 9:58:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/with-2-newborns-vandalur-has-21-gaurs/article7816785.ece

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