- > Blackbuck, Andhra Pradesh
- > Gayal, Arunachal Pradesh
- > One-horned rhino, Assam
- > Gaur, Bihar
- > Wild buffalo, Chattisgarh
- > Asiatic lion, Gujarat
- > Snow leopard, Himachal Pradesh
- > Indian elephant, Jharkhand
- > Indian giant squirrel, Maharashtra
- > Hoolock gibbon, Mizoram
- > Red panda, Sikkim
- > Nilgiri tahr, Tamil Nadu
- > Spotted deer, Telangana
- > Phayre’s langur, Tripura
- > Fishing cat, West Bengal
Gayal belongs to the family of the large cattle’s and is also a housetrain type of gaur. It is also the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh a northeastern state of India. This breed of cattle can also be seen in Bangladesh. The various names that are given to gayal are mithun in language Adi, Nishi and Apatani tribes call it subu. Its scientific name is Bosfrontalis.
The Gayals have not been domesticated to be driven with the cattle. They are considered to be live and feed in their purlieu and spend their nights in the designated vicinity. They can be easily tempted with the sat that is considered as the most essential component in their diets. Gayals originated their features from the gaurs and their following specifications explain the above. Gaurs are considered to be dependent on water and have inclination to green grass and the other flowers and plants that grow in the forests. The tribal people of the area clear the area for cultivation and these clearings are used by the gayals for grazing.
The keepers of the gayal promote the breeding of the gayal by mating the gaur bulls with the gayal cows. The mating between the gayal has been completely similar to their antecedents. The gayals are not housed in the stands or in the hedged enclosures instead they have their surviving very similar to some wild conditions.
The gayals are considered have been domesticated more than 8000 years ago. The tribal of the North-Eastern part of India consider the gayal as a source of their food. A research institute that study about the gayals or mithun was formed in year 1988 by ICAR in Nagaland state for their preservance, proliferation and advancement of the gayal breed.
Among the male and female gayals male gayal is considered to be passive while the female gayal are furious specially when they have their calves around them. The reason for female gayals to be furious is in order to protect their calves. The gayals are permitted to graze in forest but they have to be in the restricted area of the forest. It has been seen at many times that the female gayals have jabbed many people who have tried to intervene in the gayal’s life.
Thus mithun or gayal can be seen in both the forms that are domestic as well as wild. The gayals are considered to be religious and have bosom relations with both the social and religious part of the people. The gayals are allowed to graze around anywhere till the moment they are used in the form of feast at various occasions like in the marriage feasts. The gayals being the prestige issue for its owners sometimes used in the form of barter.
This species have been majorly famous for its meat, milk and the leather. It is also named as the ‘Cattle of Hilly Region” found in the hilly region of North-eastern that have tropical rain forest.
The gayals or mithun are sternly the vegan animals. Their food interest includes tree leaves, grass and the bamboo shoots. The skin color of these gayals can be reddish brown or dark brown, wide forehead and the color of the legs beneath the knee is white. Their horns are very small and have a black color at the tip that start form the side of their head and forms an arc upwards.
The height of the gayal is from 140 to 160 cms while it weighs around a ton that is around 25 percent higher than cows. The one thing that is not seen in the gayal’s and differentiate it from the gaur’s is that they don’t have huge shoulders bulge and the head is short, wide and quite flat, the horns in both male and female gayal starts from the side of their head and are copious in comparison to the gaur’s. It has double mandible on its chin and throat that is developed very nicely. Few of the gayals are skewbals and few of them are white.
It was believed that it shows the richness of the family of the Adi people also known as Bangi-BokarLhobas if they possess a Gayal. It has been linked to the tradition of the family possessing a Gayal. The Gayal is possessed not for milking purpose or even to take work from them. The Gayal is kept as a precious possession and utmost care is taken of it by allowing it to graze in woods till the time when they can be ceremonially trounced or slayed for feeding the locals.
The other state of which gayal is the state animal and that state is Nagaland. Gayal has an importance reference in the communal life of people of Arunachal Pradesh. It is believed that the marriages are not finalized until the bride’s family possesses a Gayal given by the bridegroom’s family in marriage.