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Goral

A.K.A Chinese Goral

Order: Artiodactyla – Even toed hoofed animals
Family: Bovidae - cattle

Scientific Name: Naemorhedus griseus arnouxianus

 

GoralDescription:  Shoulder height 22-31 inches.  Both male and female have horns up to 5 inches; curved backwards; marked by small, irregular ridges.  Weight 48-77 lbs.  Tail up to 8 inches long.  Buff gray to reddish brown, underparts are lighter, dark stripe down foreleg, white throat patch, dark stripe down back,  Short, woolly undercoat with long coarse guard hairs.  Male has a short, semierect mane.  Back has slight arch.  Legs are long and stout. 

RangeHome Range:  Extreme southeastern Siberia to Burma and western Thailand.

 

Habitat Type:  Altitudes of 3,280 ft to 13,120 ft.  Rugged, forested mountains.  Prefer the most difficult terrain possible.

 

Reproductive Habits:  Reach sexual maturity at 3 years.  Mating season ranges from September to December, depending on the region that they live in.  Gestation is 6 months.  Usually have one young, occasionally two.  Older males usually roam alone.

 

Diet in Wild:  Twigs, nuts, low shrubs, and grass. 

 

Diet in Zoo:  Herbivore pellets, grass hay and/or alfalfa hay.

 

General Info:  Goral occupy an evolutionary position between goats and sheep, and true antelopes (called goat antelopes) with a goat-like appearance, smell, and climbing ability, but have an oxen or antelope-like muzzle.

Goral are known for their climbing agility, and their ability to gallop along steep slopes with breathtaking speed.  They are extremely sure-footed and are most comfortable on steep rocky cliffs and mountain slopes, where they are also safe from predators.  Goral stay within 2 miles of the rocky cliffs when feeding, so that they can retreat quickly if they sense danger.  Because of their color, the can stand on their rocky lookouts and slanted tree trunks without being seen. 

During the winter, goral avoid deep, loose snow as it is very exhausting for them to move through.  During the deep snow they often suffer from starvation because they won’t leave the rocky cliffs.

Goral form small groups of up to 12 animals.  They feed in the morning and in the evening, and on cloudy days they are active all day.  When frightened, they emit a hissing or sneezing sound.

Though they have very small horns, they have been hunted for sport.  They are listed on IUCN Red List as Vulnerable and CITES Appendix l.  They are now protected in most countries where they have been hunted.

 

Bibliography

Walkers Mammals of the World.  Vol. II.  R. Nowack.  The Johns Hopkins University Press,  Baltimore and London.  1999.  pp.  1210-1212.

Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. 2nd edition. Vol. 16, Mammals V, edited by  Michael Hutchins, Devra G. Kleiman, Valerius Geist, and Melissa C. McDade. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group, 2003.  pp.  98-99.

Duckworth, J.W., Steinmetz, R. & Rattanawat Chaiyarat 2008. Naemorhedus griseus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 08 June 2011.