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The finest goats of Ladakh: Pashmina Goat

Posted by Anjum Andrabi on August 2nd, 2009

The word Pashmina comes from Pashm the Persian word for Wool. Pashmina is the winter coat of this animal and is produced in these goats only when they are reared in that high altitude and low temperature region. The goat sheds between 85g to 225g of this under-coat every spring which is used to make fine hand woven shawls.

Quite in demand for its properties of warmt and feel, the pashmina wool contributes significantly to the rural economy of the Ladakh and Kashmir regions.

pashmina goats in ladakh

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Zanskari pony: The hardy equine of the Himalayas

Posted by Anjum Andrabi on June 1st, 2009

The Zanskari is a native Himalayan horse breed genetically related to the Spiti breed of horses. There are only 5 breeds of India horses listed in the Gazette notification by the Government of India and apart from the Zanskai and Spiti include the Marwari, Kathiyawari and Manipuri breed. The Zanskari horse/pony is considered the most hardy amongst all and can work in the extremes of altitude and temperature. The predominant body color is grey though black and copper body coats are not uncommon. The ponies are low-set with heights ranging from 120 to 140 cm. The most characteristic features include predominant eyes, long & heavy tails and uniform gait.
The Zanskari pony numbers have dwindled over the years due to large scale mating with non-descript ponies, leaving just a few hundred of these elegant animals, and unless efforts are directed towards their conservation, pictures such as the ones below may be the only records of their presence in the future.

zanaskari ponies

zanskari ponyman zanaskari ponies

zanaskari ponies

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Fasiola hepatica: Liver fluke

Posted by Anjum Andrabi on May 16th, 2009

This common liver fluke of sheep may also infect cattle, goats, rabbits, hares, horses, dogs, pigs, elephants and even man. Its almost leaf shaped and on average is 1-2 inches long, though elongated forms are not uncommon. Pathologically F. hepatica is important mainly in Cattle and Sheep. The usual site of infestation is the liver (bile ducts) but sometimes may also be found in other organs. Infestation is usually manifested as anaemia and hepatitis.
Limnaea snails act as intermediate hosts and the livestock ingest the cercariae encrusted on grass or swallowed with drinking water.

liver fluke , Fasciola hepatica

liver fluke , Fasciola hepatica

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