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Tibetan antelope

OLogy Series
animal
card
116

Tibetan antelope

OLogy Series
animal

The Tibetan antelope, also known as "chiru," is one of the most beautiful mammals in the world. Its thick, woolly, cream-colored coat provides needed protection against the cold Tibetan winters. Unfortunately, people pay thousands of dollars for scarves made from these coats to keep warm, too. It's illegal to buy or sell anything made from Tibetan antelope fur.

Tibetan antelope live in Tibet, which is on which continent:

Asia

Africa

Australia

Are you right?

Correct!

Tibet is sandwiched between India and China in Asia. It's sometimes called "the rooftop of the world" because it is home to Mt. Everest. At 30,000 feet, Everest is the highest place in the world.

Shahtoosh is another word for the Tibetan antelope's:

tall antlers

warm wool

fuzzy tail

Are you right?

Correct!

Shahtoosh is a Persian word that means "king of wools." Shahtoosh is illegally made into scarves. It takes three antelope to make one woman's shawl or scarf. Over 20,000 antelope are killed each year for their wool.

Male Tibetan antelope often use their sharp horns to fight other male antelope.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Male Tibetan antelope protect their territories by using their sharp horns to fight off rival males. These battles are rough and tough. Antelope horns are sharp. Ouch!

Tibetan antelope dig shallow holes into the ground where they stop to rest.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fact

Tibetan antelope protect themselves against predators and chilly temperatures by digging holes about one foot deep into the ground.

Tibetan antelope
Scientific name: Pantholops hodgsoni
Size: 2 to 3 feet tall (55 to 77 pounds)
Habitat: grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau to northwest India
Diet: grasses and plants
Characteristics: tan fur and sharp horns
Significance: fewer than 75,000 left due to overhunting for their soft, woolly fur

Image credits: courtesy of George B. Schaller.