Monday, December 9, 2013

Creature Feature #54: Bharal

This caprid is sometimes known as the “blue sheep” due to the blueish tinge to his pelt. He is a nimble footed beast, making his home in the Himalayas and surrounding mountainous regions. Both male and female develop horns, with the females measuring in at around 20 cm, the males up to 80cm. These horns are used by the male in rutting season, when he goes head-to-head with rival males to secure himself a mate.

If threatened, he will either freeze, or leap up the almost vertical cliffs and then freeze, relying on his slate grey colouration to camouflage him against the rock. He features regularly on the menu of the snow leopard, and is sometimes trophy-hunted, but population sizes are healthy.

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