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Gayal - bull - Bangladesh, India

Gayal
(most common name)

(transboundary/brand name):
Mithun
also named (English):
• Mythan (Bangladesh)
also named (Hindi):
• Mithan (India)

The Gayal (Bos frontalis) is widely considered a semi-domesticated Gaur.

However, in 1988, the environmental activist Bulu Imam of India argued that — because the Gayal is only found living in areas falling between the habitats of the Burmese Gaur (Bos gaurus gaurus, a subspecies of the gaur) and the Indo-Chinese gaur (Bos gaurus laosiensis, another subspecies of the Gaur) — it should have a separate taxonomic position as a species in its own right. Part of his argument also involves the significant morphological differences between the Gaur and the Gayal. Imam also argues that the name mithun should refer to just Gayal X Gaur and Gayal X zebu hybrids.

The Gayal are hardy and adapt well to browsing in their natural habitat of hilly forests. Although most are wild, some are raised by tribal people and others are kept in zoos.

The Gayal belongs to the Bibovine cattle group. Bibovine refers to several species of large Southeast Asian wild cattle that are closely related to common cattle.

Gayal - bull - Bangladesh, India Gayal - bull - Bangladesh, India

This page was last updated on: 2020-01-01


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