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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kouprey (Bos sauveli): The National Mammal of the Kingdom of Cambodia

As you may know and may not know, Kouprey is the symbol of the National Mammal of the Kingdom of Cambodia. I have read the Royal Degree on Designation of Animals and Plants as National Symbols of the Kingdom of Cambodia and wanna share with you all. Actually there are seven types of animals and plants considered to be the National Symbols of Cambodia but now I just wanna share some information about Kouprey first and others later on. Hope it could be resource for you all.


The Kouprey, an original Khmer species, has been recognized worldwide and named in Khmer version by international biologists even though English, Spanish, and French call it Kouprey. Its scientific name is “Bos sauveli” with a size: HB: 2100mm-2300mm; H: 1700mm- 1900mm and W: 700-900 kg. The Kouprey is similar to the gaur or banteng but they are unique in having a very long dewlap hanging from the neck, in old males almost reaching the ground. The bull and cow horns are distinctly different. In the bull Kouprey, the horns have cores which are closer together and considerably larger; the horns form a convex curve for the basal half of the horns, dropping below the base, then rising upward and forward, extending slightly above the head with split at the tips. The horns in the female are lyre-shaped, corkscrewing upward, the tips are never shredded, and the cores are thinner and farther apart than in the male. The lower legs of the Kouprey are white or grayish and dark grayish at old age. In the pre-war period, hunting of the Kouprey was prohibited by declaration No. 191 dated January 20, 1960. After Pol Pot regime, hunting was again prohibited by declaration No. 359 dated August 01, 1994, issued by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Kouprey was classified as a critical endangered species according to the IUCN Red List. International Trade of this species is banned, following Appendix I of the CITES Convention and Migratory Species Convention. In the 1960s, the King of Cambodia identified and declared the Kouprey as the Cambodia natural heritage symbol. It has been written about in popular Khmer songs, especially some melodies, describing the richness of the nature and the important of comparability of human, animals, and nature for peace and prosperity. Kouprey were often found in herds of 20 or more and also found with gaur, banteng or sambar deer. They are more intelligent, more industrious and more easily frightened than other species in their family and they are strong, agile, and good at smelling and fast moving. Kouprey can tolerate sunlight, low quality food and Bovine Spongiform Encephalop Pathy (SBP) diseases.

marine mammals

Scientists classify all types of animals and plants by their genetic relationships to each other. This process is called taxonomy. As we have already seen, to be classified as a mammal you need to posses all 5 characteristics listed above. All mammals are members of the "class" Mammalia. Within this class are smaller subgroups called "orders". Three of these orders are made up entirely of marine mammals. They are the orders of Cetacea, Pinnipedia, and Sirenia. A fourth order Carnivora contains both marine and land animals.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Starring horse-riding lions, the Sickest Show on Earth

Just when it seemed that the Chinese had plumbed the depths of animal humiliation, along comes something even worse.

The country which gave you bears riding bikes now proudly presents ... lions and tigers on horseback.

In one of the nation's most notorious zoos, applauding spectators are treated to a bizarre display as a 30-stone lion leaps on to the horse's back.

Never seen before: A lion rides on a horse's back

Then it rides around the ring while a trainer with a whip keeps it moving.

After that, a 35-stone tiger climbs up on the same terrified steed for its turn in the limelight.

The shocking pictures come from the animal park at Xiamen in Fujian, south-east China, where the public seem to delight in humiliating circus-style stunts and have no regard for animal cruelty.

Conditions are poor, with big cats including lions, tigers and leopards and other large animals including bears kept in solitary confinement in tiny cages.

Elsewhere in the country, bears ride bicycles at an "Animal Games" in Nanjing.