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Nilgai: an Asian antelope

The nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), which is also known as the bluebuck or blue bull, is an Asian antelope that is endemic to India. 

It measures up to 7 feet (2.1 metres) long and stands up 21inches (53 cms) high. It weighs up to 660 pounds (300 kg). The front legs are longer than the rear ones. Male nilgai have stout tapering horns up to 8 inches (20 cms) long and also sport a throat tuft.

The male’s coat is bluish grey and the female’s is tawny coloured.

The nilgai prefers open woods to thick forest and is very alert to danger, fleeing at speed from predators, which include tigers. 

Nilgai graze on grasses of various types and browse leaves and fruit from bushes, feeding during the early morning and early evening while resting in seclusion during the hot part of the day.

Male nilgai compete for territory and females by kneeling in front of each other and lunging with their horns. Successful males are able to acquire harems of up to 10 females.

Breeding occurs throughout the year, although most calves are born between June and October.

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  1. Endangered ‘Nilgai’ found in Thakurgaon. Nilgai, an endangered animal of the Indian subcontinent, was found on the bank of the Kulik River in the Jaduzar area of the Ranisankail upazila in the Thakurgaon district

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