Chinese Goral - Rock-Climber

Chinese GoralThe Chinese goral (Naemorhedus caudatus), is a member of the order Artiodactyla and the family bovidae. The animal is related to the common goat and looks somewhat similar. The Chinese goral has many of the same physical features as a goat as they are in the same family.

The goral is about 80-120 cm (31.5-47.2 in) in length with a tail that tops out at about 20 cm (7.9 in). The ears of the goral are quite long, ranging in length from 10-14 cm (3.9-5.5 in). The height is measured at the withers (shoulder blades) rather than the top of the head. The average goral stands about 60 cm (23.6 in) tall and weighs between 22 and 32 kg (48.5 and 70.5 lbs).

With slightly curved horns and very small eyes, the face of the goral is one you won’t soon forget. The fur of the Chinese goral is a mixture of browns, grays and blacks with the female being more diluted in color than their male counterparts. The natural lifespan of the goral is 8-10 years though this is often cut short due to hunting by man. Females give birth to one foal at a time after having carried the foal for six months in its womb.

Chinese gorals are the natural rock-climbers of the world, doing so by instinct rather than training." title="" rel='external'>China to Russia, the goral can be found in Korea, Manchuria, Burma and Thailand. The animal lives in the high mountain ranges, along vegetated cliffs. Gorals will sometimes break off from their herd to hide in the small crevices that can be found along these mountain cliffs.

Maintaining a diet of grass, leaves and fruits the Chinese goral relies on its keen sense of sight rather than its sense of smell as so many other herding animals do. Because they live in the mountains and on cliffs, they have few enemies. There aren’t many other animals willing to brave rock-climbing to feast on goral.

The Chinese goral is, however, endangered due to man. Living in herds makes them easy prey for hunters and the habitat of the goral is rapidly being decimated by chopping, cutting and burning. Man has caused the future of the Chinese goral to be uncertain; the goral is listed as ‘critical’.

Which zoos have them?
Edinburgh Zoo (United Kingdom) and Los Angeles Zoo (United States)

The Chinese goral, long-tailed goral is listed as Vulnerable (VU), considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Some facts about the
Chinese goral

Adult weight : 27 kg (59.4 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 20 years

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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