Friday, November 21, 2014

Nilgai of Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary

Nilgai of Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
Nilgai have distinct sexual dimorphism. This is a male as you can see horns and tuft of hair down the throat.
Nilgai is the largest Asian antelope found abundantly in India. This particular Nilgai was one of my patient subjects at Bethuadahari Wldlife Sanctuary. In my previous two photo stories on Peacocks and Gharials, I've narrated all necessary details on Bethuadahari which will help you in planning your trip (Click here for a quick Read). Part of my blues accumulated after failing to spot a single deer in the forest walk was efficiently effaced by this tolerant (result of longstanding captivity I guess) nilgai. Although, literally 'Nilgai' means 'Blue Cow', I found it more like a horse. My driver who was accompanying me inside the sanctuary took it for a donkey! The government forest guide when queried was absolutely clueless whether it belonged to cow, ass or deer category (aren't Forest Dept. guides with basic salary over 12,000 bucks supposed to know such basic informations, especially when there are hardly a dozen of enclosed mentionable wildlife in his sanctuary? Shame on the recruiting authority!).
Nilgai of Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
Nilgai love to dwell in scrub jungle, feeding on grasses, leaves, buds and fruits.
It might interest a zoologist that Nilgai is the only living member of genus Boselaphus (like we belong to the genus Homo). Although nilgai are commonly found in shrubs and farmlands of northern and central India, they are also seen in parts of Nepal, Pakistan and United States where they were translocated to be preserved as zoo animals from India. Males are gray to bluish-gray having two conical, black horns, whereas, female and young nilgai are tawny brown in color. Here comes a an intriguing fact on nilgai- Both males and females mark their territories by pooping in fixed locations on open ground, with piles building up to reach at least 3 meters in diameter! They also possess scent glands on the legs and close to the feet, which they probably use to scent mark their daily resting places. An adult nilgai can weigh up to 300 kilograms and feeds on grass, straw, bran, rock salt etc in captivity. I think this much is enough for the day, and here ends my photo series on Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary.
Nilgai of Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary
Although the nilgai population would please a conservationist, farmers may not like these crop raiders!

2 comments:

  1. This is the first time I'm seeing a nilgai...even in a pic. Have heard a lot about it but am not sure if I want to see them in real. :/

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  2. Heheee true... they are not that stylish :-P

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