The Nilgai – the name translates to blue cow (it appears to be an amalgamation of Nil and Gai from Hindi), is the largest antelope to be found in Asia (both species of Eland and the roan antelope from Africa are larger). It is the sole member of the genus Boselaphus (as well as being only 1 of 2 species in the tribe Boselaphini.

Typically found either in mothers and small calf group, mothers and older calf groups, or bachelor herds. They generally have a lifespan of around 10 years. Preferring areas with scattered small bushes and trees, they are found in Indian and Nepal Terai which is a lowland area with long grass, and rich savannah. There is also a feral population in Texas, which numbers 37,000. They are not endangered at the current time.

They damage crops, which leads to them being classed as vermin in parts of their range.

The Indian population is estimated at 1 million. It is widespread in Northern India, which means that it is found in many of the best known tiger reserves, but these 2 are examples Gir National Park (Gujarat); Bandhavgarh National Park.

See Animals Wild