09 October, 2006

Mithun/ gayals/ Sia

Name: Mithun

Height: 5 feet at shoulder

Diet: Browse forest leaves, young plants

Distribution Range: Himalayan foothills of south / southeast Asia.

Characteristics: Prominent dorsal ridge on the crest of the shoulder, flat forehead, big hors with large base. Mostly brownish black and piebald. Most animals have white stockings :)

The name "Mithun" probably came from Assamese dialect. They are known as "Gayals" in India. Chin people (one of the Zo ethnic groups living inn Western Burma) call these animals "Sia".

Mithuns are smaller versions of domesticated Gaurs. Mithuns and Gaurs are related to other great Asian Bovines: banteng of Indonesia and kouprey of Cambodia. They are extremely docile. The Chins use the expression "as gentle as a mithun". The milk of Mithuns is rich in butterfat content. They were traditionally the ultimate sacrificial animal. They have been used by the Chins for barter.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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