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.
Kouprey Statue, the west of Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Photo: Chanthol
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.
Source: Appendix 1 of the Royal Degree No. NS/RKT/0305/149 dated March 21, 2005 on the Designation of Animals and Plants as National Symbols of the Kingdom of Cambodia