Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kouprey

Bos sauveli (the only captive Kouprey)
Meet the Kouprey, one of the rarest hoofed mammals still alive on our planet-- in fact, it may actually extinct. These large bovines are close relatives  to the Guar and the extinct Aurochs, and could be found in only a very tiny range that includes parts of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Koupreys live in partially forested areas, where they live in small herds and feed on grasses during the night time. (It is believed they may have been diurnal once, but they adapted to avoid human contact). They have long, narrow bodies, very long legs, and have small humps on their back. Males and females can be told apart by their size, their horns, and their necks. Males have larger bodies and much larger horns that branch upwards. They also have dewlaps on their necks. Females are smaller, have shorter curved horns, and no dewlap.

The Kouprey was only first discovered in 1937, and the only captive specimen was taken that same year. There have been no official sightings since 1988, though tracks have been found and bones have turned up. If they are still out there, there are probably less than 50 left. Koupreys are protected in all countries of their range, and were named the national animal of Cambodia in the 1960s. There are no captive Koupreys currently, so the wild bunch is all we have left.

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered
Location : Southeast Asia
Size :  Body length up to 7.5ft (2.3m), Weight up to 2,000lbs (910kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Artiodactyla
Family : Bovidae -- Genus : Bos -- Species : B. sauveli

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