The forested areas of the Tarai are the home of tigers and leopards, gaurs (wild ox), occasional
elephants and buffalo, and many deer; the deer include chital, or axis, deer (which have
white-spotted bodies), sambar (a large Asiatic deer with coarse hair on the throat and strong
antlers), and swamp deer. The Lesser Rapti Valley, in south-central Nepal, is one of the last
homes of the great Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis). Much poaching has gone on, as the
horn of the rhinoceros is reputed to be valuable as an aphrodisiac, but in the 1960s the Nepal
government organized protective measures.
There are few wild animals in the central zone because of the
clearing of forests. Occasional leopards, bears, and smaller
carnivores inhabit the forests and ravines, and muntjacs (a
kind of small deer, also called the barking deer) are found
in the woods. In the Alpine zone are musk deer, widely hunted
for the musk pods they carry, the tahr (a Himalayan beardless
wild goat), the goral (any of several goat antelopes, closely
related to the Rocky Mountain goat), and wild sheep, which are
preyed upon by wolves and snow leopards. Pheasant are common.
The Yeti (bear-man, or Abominable Snowman) is said by the Sherpa
to inhabit the high snow mountains but has eluded discovery
by several expeditions. Strange tracks are often found in the
snow, but it is believed that they are probably made by bears.
River wildlife includes the mahseer, a large freshwater food
and sport fish.
PAGE (plants) | Article source: Encyclopaedia Britannica