I was guiding the morning safari as a Naturalist, and the jungle was lush, given the presence of intermittent showers. We had distant sightings of elephants grazing on the Bandipur river banks. As we were driving along, we came across a large herd of Gaur mostly comprising cows and sub- adults.

gaur in Kabini

Gaur!

We also spotted sub-adult bull Gaurs to our left and as the cows began crossing the track towards our left, the young bulls started locking their horns and pushing at each other.

Gaur, Kabini

The Gaur Brawl!

The play fight was getting a little serious as the cows were closing in, and one of the younger bulls ran away to avoid injuries.

A young winner then turned his attention to the cows and started sniffing them to check their receptivity. But contrary to his expectations, the cows were least interested in the bull. After a while, we saw the same bull moving towards the other ‘bachelors’ and giving them company by grazing by their side.

One day, when he grows up into an adult bull gaur with his dorsal ridge rising like a hill on his back and his dewlaps (loose skin hanging under the neck) growing, almost touching the ground, then he will challenge other adult bulls and attract the female gaurs with his muscular body and shiny coat.