A gaur weighing approximately 800 kilograms has died at a natural reserve in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai, purportedly of old age.
Forest protection officers found the body of the gaur inside the Dong Nai Natural and Cultural Reserve in Ma Da Commune, Vinh Cuu District on Tuesday afternoon.
A delegation consisting of police officers and vets tasked with examining the animal and determining the cause of death was on their way to the forest, Le Viet Dung, deputy head of the provincial Department of Forest Protection, confirmed on the same day.
As the gaur was found deep in the forest, the delegation is expected to reach the location within Wednesday, Dung elaborated, adding that old age may be the reason for its death.
But it remains unclear how old the animal was.
In late November 2018, a male gaur weighing about 700 kilograms also died of old age at the reserve. Its body was reserved for scientific research.
The gaur, whose scientific name is Bos gaurus, can grow to the height of 1.9 meters and weigh up to one metric ton. It is characterized by a dark brown and black color, white legs, and aggressive nature.
The species has been listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List since 1986.
Vietnam currently has about 300 gaurs, and it is illegal to hunt them for commercial purposes.