What is the National Animal of Cambodia?

Cambodia national animal

Cambodia national animal – Kouprey

Kouprey (Bos sauveli) is the national animal of Cambodia. It is a species of wild cattle found in South Cambodia. The scientific name of Kouprey is Bos sauveli and it belongs to the family Bovidae.

The Kouprey is a species of wild cattle that is the official national animal of Cambodia. The Kouprey was first discovered in 1937 by a French naturalist and was recognized as the official national animal of Cambodia in 1963.

The scientific name for the Kouprey is Bos sauveli. The Kouprey is a large, bovine mammal that resembles an ox (a castrated male cow). They are said to have been Asian wild cattle that were domesticated for agricultural purposes around 10,000 years ago.

Scientific Classification of Kouprey

Scientific Name Kingdom Class Order Family
Bos sauveli Animalia Mammalia Artiodactyla Bovidae
Population Size Life Span Weight Height Length
250 20 yrs 70-160 KG
1.7 – 1.9 m
2.1 – 2.3 m


It looks like a bull with a pair of spiral horns. It has very long legs and hooves. Its back is in the shape of an arch and its neck is thin. The whole body of a Kouprey looks something like a buffalo but it has straight horns which are extremely long and spiral in shape.

The Kouprey are gray or black with long horns that curve forward. They have a continuous ridge over their shoulders that forms a hump. Females stand 1.5 meters tall and weigh around 700 kg while the males are slightly taller at 1.7 meters and weigh around 800 kg.


Kouprey live in herds of three to ten females and young led by a single male. They occupy mixed deciduous forests during the dry season, but move to grasslands during the wet season where they can graze more easily.

They are elusive animals which are rarely seen, even by local people who know their habitats well; however, they have no natural predators other than humans, so their paucity is not due to predation pressure.

Fun Facts about Kouprey – Cambodia national animal

  • Kouprey is the official and native animal of Cambodia
  • The name derives from the Khmer kouprey, meaning “forest ox”.
  • The Kouprey’s head is small as compared to the rest of its body.
  • The tail of this animal ends in a tuft of black hair.
  • Kouprey lives in herds and shows a great deal of fear towards humans.
  • Kouprey is a large animal, measuring about 6 feet from the hump to the ground and weighing about 1,500 lb (680 kg).
  • Kouprey can live up to 30 years in the wild and 40 years in captivity.
  • Kouprey are highly sensitive to human disturbance and avoid people whenever possible.
  • Kouprey rarely use their horns in fighting, instead using their hooves as weapons.

Why is Kouprey the national animal of Cambodia?

The reason why the kouprey has been chosen as the national animal of Cambodia is because of its unique features. It is a large wild bovine found in the grasslands and forests of Southeast Asia. The kouprey has a very long body with a humped back, thick hair on its neck, and large horns. Its tail is rather short for an ox, with a tuft of hair at the end.

Another interesting feature about this cattle is that it has two dewlaps on its neck. The kouprey also has distinct dagger-shaped markings across its shoulders and back.

Due to all these reasons, kouprey has been declared as the national animal of Cambodia officially.