A medium-sized goat-like antelope called a Himalayan Serow was presumed extinct until wildlife officials recently captured a photo of it. It was photographed in the cold desert of Spiti valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.
The Himalayan Serow looks like a goat and has donkey-like ears. Its coat is coarse that can be black or red with a dark mane that can occasionally be salt-and-pepper-like in color with a dark stripe that can sometimes be seen on their back. The inside of their ears are a creamy-white color and their tail is dark. They can grow to an average of 90 to 100 centimeters (around 3 feet) and weigh between 85 and 140 kilograms (187 to 309 pounds).
The Himalayan Serow hasn’t been seen since 2018 and was thought to have become extinct but this new photograph proves otherwise. It was last seen in the Great Himalayan National Park and has never been spotted there since. This new photograph was taken near Hurling village (around 20km from the Indo-Tibetan border) which makes it the first time ever that the animal has been documented in that area. Before this new photo was taken, locals had claimed to have seen the animal on numerous occasions although no photographic evidence was captured.
In an interview with Outlook, Divisional Forest officer Kaza Hardev Negi explained what happened, “I received a call around 11:15 am from the villagers at Hurling, who informed about an Ibex -- a wild mountain goat (with long thick ridged horns and a beard) having got estranged near human habitations.” “We made a video and captured the animal on camera for the records. The team also helped the animal to get a passage back to the area from where it had strayed. However, after close studies and analysis, we realized that it was a Himalayan Serow, not an Ibex.”
According to the Chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Anil Thakur, the animal may have come from the Rupi Bhawa wildlife sanctuary although it’s not known for certain. Wherever it came from, the fact that the Himalayan Serow has been spotted again after not being seen since 2018 is incredibly exciting. Several pictures of the animal were posted to the ANI’s (Asia News International) Twitter account as well as one picture here.