The Gaur (Bos gaurus), known as the Krating in Thailand is probably best known through its namesake - the drink Krating Daeng, or Red Bull as its known worldwide. If only its plight were as common knowledge as the beverage!
Very seldom seen in the day in Thailand, they can be seen at dusk and dawn on the margins of the forest with clearings and roads, as they seek younger more succulent vegetation to eat.
They are nocturnal and are very active in the night, which is the most common time to happen upon them on a road or track. They spend the day in the forest and for such a hulk of a creature are incredibly shy and quiet. It is a shock to be close to one and then see it slip into the forest depths without a sound, not even a branch cracking or plant creaking under foot - it seems to defy physics.
They are classified a "vulnerable" by the IUCN but they are still a rare sight in Thailand. In 2004 the estimated Thai population was just 920 (worldwide there are believed to be upwards of 13,000 animals). Hunted for trophies and meat, fully dependent on protected forests, their past populations have been decimated. However, there are some herds re-establishing themselves in some of Thailand's protected areas and there are good opportunities to see them at some of the National Parks. The Department of National Parks has special gaur viewing operations in Kui Buri National Park, Pang Sida National Park, Ta Phraya National Park and Khao Yai National Park. At all 4 locations you can sit in a tower on the edge of large clearings at dusk with guide and have a good chance of a sighting if you are lucky, albeit usually in the distance. A magical experience, to see such a magnificent wild creature ..... Bos gaurus readei
kingdom Animalia - animals » phylum Chordata - chordates » class Mammalia - mammals » order Artiodactyla - even-toed ungulates » family Bovidae » genus Bos » species Bos gaurus (readei)