Gayal is now being reared in the Cumilla district. The animal is called 'forest cow' as it lives in the forest. It is expected that in the next two-three years, besides cows, Gayal rearing will also become popular in Cumilla. Buyers are keen to buy Gayal for sacrifice.
Although the Gayal is a deep forest animal, it looks like a domestic cow. However, its size is larger than the size of the cow. Each Gayal weighs 400 to 800 kgs. An adult Gayal eats much food per day. Gayals live in groups in the forest. Usually, after 10-11 months of gestation the female Gayal gives birth to a calf.
Saqiul Haque Alvi, a resident of Sadar Upazila of Cumilla, said last year he brought two Gayals from Bandarban. He named the big Gayal 'Boro Mia' and the little one 'Chhoto Mia'.
He bought the big Gayal for Tk 0.16 million (1 lakh 60 thousand) and the small one for Tk 0.14 million (1 lakh 40 thousand). He spent Tk 0.36 million (3 lakh 60 thousand) including transportation cost to bring two Gayals to Cumilla.
Alvi said the weight of the big Gayal is 640 kgs. He sold the big Gayal to his uncle, Cumilla City Corporation Mayor Monirul Haque Sakkur, for Tk 0.6 million (6 lakh). Monirul Haque Sakku will sacrifice the big Gayal in this Eid-ul-Azha. Buyers are flocking to buy the little Gayal. He will sell the small Gayal for Tk 0.3 million (3 lakh).
Saqiul Haque Alvi, proprietor of Fatema Agro Farm, said he has reared two Gayals along with the cows in his farm. He will have a good profit by rearing two Gayals experimentally. Therefore, targeting the next Eid-ul-Azha, he said he will rear several more Gayals.
It is known that the food habit of the Gayals is like that of the elephant. Its teeth erode rapidly due to eating hard and rough grass. To compensate for this loss, the Gayals have to eat alkaline and saline soils. Of course, to reduce intestinal insects, Gayals also eat salt. For this practice, the hill people hunt Gayals by throwing salt traps in the forest. Then these Gayals are domesticated. Most of the Gayals currently seen in Cumilla are known to be hunted with salt traps.
Nazmul Islam Shaon, a resident of the Tomcham bridge area of the Cumilla city, said he bought a Gayal about seven months ago and started rearing it. The Gayal now weighs about 560 kgs. He will raise Gayals targeting Eid-ul-Azha next year.
Cumilla District Animal Resources Officer Dr. Mohammad Nazrul Islam said, "Gayal can be reared like cows. However, Gayals are more resistant to disease than cows. Those who are interested in Gayal rearing in Cumilla can contact us if they want. We will cooperate with them."
Cumilla City Corporation Mayor Monirul Haque Sakku said, "Gayal meat does not contain any fat. This time I am sacrificing a Gayal."