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Tetracerus Quadricornis, the chousingha

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Chapter Summary

The chousingha has a wide distribution and is found in the undulating or hilly grasslands, open jungles and forested hills of the entire subcontinent, except for the northeast and the Malabar coast. Due to the steady deforestation of India, their numbers decrease alarmingly and at present the species is listed as vulnerable with only few thousand individuals left in the wild, distributed in scattered populations over most of India. At present, the species is totally protected by law, though illegal pouching still occurs. The only stone sculptures of the chowsingha appear to be part of narrative friezes from Greater Gandhara, Pakistan (first to fourth century). It might be, however, that some of the small undetermined animals depicted in a forest setting in actual fact represent chowsinghas. In sculpture, horns may or may not be present.

Keywords: Chousingha; illegal pouching; Malabar coast; stone sculptures



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