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East Caucasian Tur at the Racine Zoo in Racine, WI
caucasian tur exhibit
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Caucasian Tur in their habitat at the Racine Zoo in Racine, WI.

The East Caucasian Tur (Capra cylindricornis) is a mountain dwelling goat found only in the eastern half of the Caucasus Mountains.

East Caucasian Turs stand up to 29 inches (1 metre) tall at the shoulder and weigh around 130 lbs (60 kilograms). They have large, narrow bodies and short legs. They generally have a dark chestnut coat in winter and a lighter chestnut coat in summer. Males have slightly lyre shaped horns which reach around 35 inches (90 centimetres) in length while in females they are much smaller 12 inches (30 centimetres) maximum.

East Caucasian Turs live in rough mountainous terrain between 2,600 and 13,000 ft (800 and 4,000 metres) above sea level where they eat mainly grass and leaves. They are preyed upon by wolves and lynxes. Females live in herds of around ten individuals, while males are solitary.

Mating and young

Breeding occurs from late November to early January, with births taking place in May and June. Giving them a gestation period of only around 150 days. Young Tur are extremely agile, being able to scamper about steep slopes after only a day of life. They generally start sampling grasses after on months, but continue to suckle for 2-4 months.

Feeding and Migration

During the warm months, feeding occurs at intervals throughout the late afternoon, night, and morning, with the hottest hours of the day being spent resting in sheltered places. In winter, herds may remain in open pastures throughout the day, alternately grazing and resting. Daily movements may cover 15 to 20 kilometres (9.3 to 12 mi).

There is a seasonal migration covering a vertical distance of 1,500 to 2,000 metres (4,900 to 6,600 ft), with an upward thrust in May and a retreat downwards in October. The solitary adult males generally inhabit higher altitudes than groups of females and their young, descending to join them in the breeding season. During this time, vigorous competitions arise as they vie for mating rights. In protected areas, the density of animals varies between 5/km² and 16/km². (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Caucasian_Tur)

 

 


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This page updated or reviewed in March 2011