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  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Gayal calf born at Chittagong Zoo

  • Published at 08:59 am November 12th, 2020
Gayal Zalf Ctg Zoo
A female Gayal nurses its newborn calf at Chittagong Zoo Thursday morning Dhaka Tribune

The population of the graminivorous Gayal, despite being the largest species among the wild cattle, has diminished sharply due to human intervention

A Gayal calf was born at Chittagong Zoo on Thursday morning. With the arrival of the new guest at the menagerie, the number of members in the Gayal family has now risen to four.

“The female calf was born at 8am on Thursday. This is the second calf born to the Gayal couple. The calf is doing well under the care of its mother. A male calf was born at the zoo last year,” said Dr Shahadat Hossain Suvo, Chittagong Zoo's acting curator and veterinary surgeon.

The Gayal belongs to the family Bovidae, tribe Bovini, group Bovina, genus Bos and species Bos frontalis. The Gayal, synonymous with mithan or mithun, is a unique bovine species which has a limited geographical distribution from east Bhutan through Arunachal Pradesh in India to the Naga and Chin hills in the Arakan Yomarange that defines the borders between India, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Gayal is a graminivorous animal and is the largest species among the wild cattle. The Gayal population has diminished sharply due to human intervention.

Gayal reaches sexual maturity in the second or third year. Females give birth to one, rarely two calves, after a gestation period of about 275 days. Calves are typically weaned after seven to 12 months. Breeding takes place year-round, but typically peaks between December and June.

Gayals usually stay inside the forest during the daytime but venture into human habitations in search of salt and water at night. Salt is one of the most favourite food items for these animals, which is the reason the villagers often use salt to trap them. Moreover, sometimes the hill tribes collect them from the dense forest and domesticate these animals.

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