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NILGAI ANTELOPE

The Nilgai is the largest of the Asiatic antelope. Their shoulder height ranges from 52-56 inches. The adult male is bluish grey, with white areas about the mouth and chin, the chest, the inner sides of the thighs, the rump, and just above the hoofs. Short slightly curved horns are seen on the males only. The females are similarly marked with white. An adult nilgai can weigh between 240-295 pounds. Distribution is in open or lightly wooded areas of the Indian peninsula and eastern Pakistan. It is both a browser and a grazer and is fond of fruit and sugar cane. Most mating occurs from December to March and most calving in September and October. Gestation periods of 243-247 days are considered to be normal. On an average, twins are born every alternate birth. The Nilgai are considered rather docile for such a large animal, will tame easily, and thrives in captivity. They will live to be 15-20 years old. The free-roaming population in southern Texas, descended from animals released in the 1930's, may contain as many Nilgai as currently survive in Asia.