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Famous India > Famous Animals of India > Neel Gai
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Neel Gai

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The Indian bluebuck, or nilgai, Boselaphus tragocamelus is the largest of all Asiatic antelopes. In areas where the Hindu religion predominates, the bluebuck's resemblance to a cow has earned it a large degree of protection. It prefers open forests and scrublands but will also feed on water plants. More than 60 percent of Nilgai births bring twins. It is estimated that there are more than 15,000 in captivity. By contrast, there are probably no more than 10,000 left in India.

Description:
The short coat is yellow-brown in females, and gradually turns blue-grey in males as they mature. There is an erectile mane on the nape and back and a "hair pennant" in the middle of the underside of the neck. There are white markings in the form of cheek spots, edges of the lips, and a throat bib. Along the underside is a thin white stripe, which "balloons" at the rear. The slender legs support a stocky body, which slopes downwards towards the rear. The head is long and slender. Males have 20-25 cm / 8-10 inch long horns which are straight and tilted slightly forwards.

Nil Gai
Ecology:
The nilgai is mainly diurnal, with peaks in activity in the early morning and late afternoon. The sense of sight is well developed among this wary species. When chased, nilgai can run up to 48 kmph / 29 mph. Males have been observed to establish territories during the breeding season, attempting to gather and keep small herds of females (up to 10) within their area. Males compete with each other with threatening posture displays and neck wrestling, rarely leading to both rivals kneeling and lunging at each other with their horns. Normally silent, nilgai have been recorded making a roaring vocalization. The population density in central India is about 0.07 animals per square kilometer.
Nil Gai
Hot Spots For Nilgai:
The Blue bull, which is the largest asiatic antelope, can be seen across many areas of India, there are some reserves where sightings are very abundant. These are Sariska, Sultanpur, Ranthambore and Panna. They are a member of the Bovine family and are related closely to the African spiral-horned Antelopes.


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