Ailing female Nilgai succumbs at NZP

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Bhubaneswar: An ailing female Nilgai, in Nandankanan Zoological Park (NZP) on the outskirts of the city, suffering from illness for past few days, succumbed to injuries on Thursday.

According to sources, the Asian antelope, aged around 18 years, was found unwell at Enclosure No. 64 on Wednesday. She, however, died yesterday while undergoing treatment. Meanwhile, another female nilgai is battling for life inside the animal habitat.

The nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), sometimes called nilgau, is the largest Asian antelope. It is one of the most commonly seen wild animals of central and northern India, often seen in farmland or scrub forest. The mature male appears ox-like and is also known as the blue bull.

Nilgai prefers areas with short bushes and scattered trees in scrub forests and grassy plains. They are commonly found in agricultural lands but hardly prefer dense forest.

Major populations occur in the Terai lowlands in the foothills of the Himalayas (northern India), but the antelope is sparsely found in Nepal and Pakistan. It was first thought to be extinct in Bangladesh but it was found there on 22nd January 2019.

Nilgai were first introduced to Texas in the 1920s and the 1930s. As of 2008, the feral population in Texas is nearly 37,000. The nilgai is categorised as Least Concern by the IUCN. The nilgai has been associated with Indian culture since the Vedic period (1500–500 BC).

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