The Cambodian Kouprey (กูปรีหรือ) is a kind of ox living in the deep forests of Cambodia -- although there were sightings in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos too. These forest oxen are one of the most mysterious mammals in the animal world.
It was first discovered by Western science in 1937, since then, it was only sighted a couple of times. The last photograph of these elusive creatures was in 1950 and by 1970; there were fears that the species might have become extinct due to the wars during this period in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. But the last recorded sighting occurred in 1988.
“Kouprey” means... “forest bull" in Khmer, they are gray-colored with frayed horns and a long dewlap hanging around its neck. It's spectacular horns split when the animal matures, and continue growing distinctly thereafter. This fraying is believed to be the result of their being used for digging into the ground or thrusting into trees.
Due to the Kouprey’s enigma, ongoing debates of cryptozoologists (finders of lost species) is currently in progress whether it is totally a different bovine specie or a hybrid of the Indian Zebu and the Indonesian Banteng. But one thing is for sure, the Kouprey is endemic and distinctly Cambodian.
Prince Sihanouk designated it as the National Animal of Cambodia in the 1960s, partly due to its mystique. It may also prove to be one of the most genetically valuable animals on Earth, because of clues it may hold to disease resistance and general ability to survive in extremely harsh conditions.
showcasing its' spectacular horns.
Previously featured SE Asian Rare Species:
*The KOMODO Dragons of Indonesia
*BUTAAN: Lost Dragons of the Philippines
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