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Gayal or mithun (Bos gaurus frontalis or Bos frontalis) is the domesticated gaur, probably a gaur-cattle hybrid breed.


The wild group and the domesticated group are sometimes considered separate species, with the wild gaur called Bibos gauris or Bos gaurus, and the domesticated gayal called Bos frontalis Lambert, 1804.

When wild Bos gaurus and the domestic Bos frontalis are considered to belong to the same species the older name Bos frontalis is used, according to the rules of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). However, in 2003, the ICZN "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", confirming Bos gaurus for the Gaur.

To the Apatani, Nishi and Adi people of Arunachal Pradesh , the possession of gaur is the traditional measure of a family's wealth. In the Adi language, gaur are called tadok and in Apatani and Nishi called subu often referred to as mithun. Gaur are not milked or put to work but given supplementary care while grazing in the woods, until they are slaughtered in ritual or for the local consumption.

The gaur, or mithun as it is commonly known in the North East region of Indiamarker, is the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

It is also the state animal of the Indianmarker state of Arunachal Pradeshmarker.


  1. International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. 2003. Opinion 2027 (Case 3010). Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved. Bull.Zool.Nomencl., 60:81-84.
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