Strong-shouldered and shiny horned

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    Indian Bison or Gaur
    Bos gaurus gaurus

    This is a mighty beast. Six feet at the shoulder weighing 1000 kilo grams, it needs to fear only three enemies - a mightier bull or a marauding tiger or humans. These are the wild cousins of domesticated cattle but are rather large and avoid humans.

    Listed as vulnerable, they face depleting grazing areas and infections from domestic cattle. There were instances when big herds were wiped out from attack of diseases such as foot-and-mouth. Their cousins in the fareast and China are even faring worse and are put on critically endangered list.

    This is not the best view of this wonderful animal. He gave me very little time before he disappeared into the woods. I was watching his mate when this big fellow suddenly came into view and unnerved me. Of course, they were captive and I was behind the concrete barricade but still it was an awesome sight seeing him so close.

    I had seen one in the wild few years ago but even then he did not give me a chance to set the camera. I was using an SLR film camera and driving the car and I had no chance. For such massive animals, they are so fast and vanish in a jiffy.

    EDIT: Happened to see one in the wild recently. You can see it here.

    View 5 more comments

    1. Tut99 (Roger) 111 months ago | reply

      Nice shot. Love the crispness of the bull in the large view. (3-2-1)

    2. afkatws 111 months ago | reply

      Beautiful musculature at its shoulder, and those horns. Such power yet so passive :-)

    3. neloqua 111 months ago | reply

      A powerful animal: showing all it`s force, in this moment! Very nice photo!

    4. Pandiyan 111 months ago | reply

      Thanks, dear friends. Do visit India to see this wonderful beast.

      Thanks Sergio, eirraccor, Suresh, Tut for the appreciation.

      MalayalaM - You are lucky. How close could you get to them?

      Jinx, afkatws and neloqua - Thhough he is so powerful, as you observed, he is strong but silent type. Even during courtship challenge, males don't clash like many others. They assess the size and declare the winner! That is pretty smart, I thought.

    5. MalayalaM 111 months ago | reply

      In Nagarhole, you could get pretty close to bisons wandering alone, maybe within 20ft. You wouldn't go close to a herd. If you're in a jeep or some other vehicle, you could get even closer to singles or herds, especially after 7 in the evening, when it's too dark to get any decent pictures. Unfortunately, I don't have good pics of bisons from my trips, in spite of this fact.

    6. Pandiyan 111 months ago | reply

      You are right. I am told these animals have become nocturnal with more and more human contact and they retire during the day. Interesting phenomenon and I wonder this behaviour is common to other species.

    7. eclectic echoes 111 months ago | reply

      Where'd his legs go?!! ;)
      He looks like all neck (and powerful shoulders!!)!

    8. roselover 111 months ago | reply

      Wonderful capture of such a mighty beast!

    9. elledino 111 months ago | reply

      A formidable, muscular animal. I had never seen one. Thanks for educating me/us on the many animals you see.

    10. Ewa's Oceans 111 months ago | reply

      I think - that humans are even the first on the "enemies" list !

      This is great photo, just pure wild beauty of a huge animal.
      And indeed ... I don't know why we so often think, that big animal can't be fast :-)

    11. Mendosa 111 months ago | reply

      A beautiful animal.

    12. Pandiyan 111 months ago | reply

      Thanks friends.

      Eric - Legs hidden by the shrubbery on the slope. He was grazing in the waterless moat in the enclosure.

      Ewa - Humans are enemy no 1 for most animals. But we have the means to be helpful and exist peacefully with them as well.

      Bigger the bulk more difficult to move, I suppose. Simple physics! I can't move as fast as my son. But as you say some the biggest creatures - elephants, salt water crocodiles, tigers, sharks and these buffaloes can move pretty fast when they want

    13. jah~ 111 months ago | reply

      Missed this one. Beautiful specimen. Interesting framing!

    14. Pandiyan 111 months ago | reply

      Thanks John. Framing was accidental! He appeared beneath me all of a sudden and shot without any thinking. Then he moved fast and disappeared and all other photos I have are showing his generous behind not much else!

    15. Monika N. 111 months ago | reply

      Interesting how shiny his back is.
      A beautiful animal & nice catch, Pandiyan!

    16. Pandiyan 111 months ago | reply

      Thanks Monika. He sure is impressive.

    17. Falansh *Le Modus Op 80 months ago | reply

      what kind is this with out wear???¿

    18. yeimaya 71 months ago | reply

      Seeing this makes you encounter in the wild even more impressive.

    19. Pandiyan 71 months ago | reply

      It is quite huge. If the herd has young ones, they may stand up to a tiger too.

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