Morni Wildlife: Himalayan Grey Goral

January 30, 2013

Himalayan Grey Goral (Nemorhaedus goral) belongs to the sub-family of a goat-antelopes, being intermediate between the goat and the antelope, and is a little over 2 feet high at the shoulder. It weighs about 40 kg. The head with a solid, heavy skull is goat-like. So is the short tail. The short legs and the coarse-shaggy hair are also goat like. The goral’s horns, however, are antelope-like. Gorals (both sexes) have short horns (6 inches or so) marked by rings, diverging slightly as they curve backwards.  The ears are upright and deer-like.

Goral close-up

Goral close-up

Himalayan Grey Goral

Himalayan Grey Goral

Himalayan Goral, Thalapur, Bhoj Balag, Morni hills (Photo courtesy- KS Bains)

Himalayan Goral, Thalapur, Bhoj Balag, Morni hills (Photo courtesy- KS Bains)

Himalayan Goral (Photo courtesy-KS Bains)

Himalayan Goral (Photo courtesy-KS Bains)

Goral near Plasra

Goral near Muwas

Goral near Kadiani

Goral vs Goat- differences in horns and ears

The Grey Goral is a brownish-grey tinged with black with a black spinal stripe.  The chin, upper-lip, lower-jaw and throat is white.  A black stripe on the fore-leg runs over the knee. Males have a short mane. Gorals are extremely agile and are found on steep hill-sides and cliffs. They graze in small parties though older males may frequently move alone. Gorals are well camouflaged and are generally sighted (if at all) atop hills silhouetted against the sky-line. They are active in early morning and late evenings and spend most of the day resting on rock ledges. They feed on grass and leaves.

Tracks: The hoof-marks of gorals are distinct from that of the domesticated goats in that there is a clear gap or a wedge between the front claws.

Goral’s hoof mark near Aasrewali check dam, Morni hills

References:

  1. The Wild Animals Of India (1934); BNHS

Filed in: Wildlife

About the Author ()

An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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