Genus: Bos Linnaeus, 1758
Species: Kouprey Bos sauveli A. Urbain, 1937
Names in other languages: French: Boeuf gris cambodgien; German: Kouprey; Spanish: Toro Cuprey; Italian: Kouprey
Other common names: Grey Ox, Cambodian Grey Ox, Indochinese Forest Ox.
Kouprey in Khmer language means ‘forest ox’.
The kouprey (Bos sauveli) is a little-known wild cattle species discovered in the nineteenth century in Northern Cambodia. Probably the first to mention this species was Campbell (1860), who described three species of wild cattle in Cambodia: the gaur, the banteng and a ‘black or blackish grey’ wild ox that frequently occurs ‘on the plains in herds of from 50 to 300 at a time’. Later, Dufossé (1918) gave additional information on the species, mentioned that the kouprey is endangered and suggested prohibiting its hunting in order to preserve the remaining populations. The species, Bos sauveli, was described by Urbain (1937) based on a young male caught in Preah Vihear Province of Cambodia and maintained in captivity at the Vincennes Zoo (France) until the 1940s. Urbain (1937) placed the kouprey with banteng and gaur into the subgenus Bibos. An adult male shot in Cambodia in 1939 was further described by Coolidge (1940), who considered the species sufficiently distinct to put it in the new genus Novibos. Subsequently, the validity of Novibos was questioned and the kouprey was returned to the genus Bos (Bohlken 1961a, 1961b; Pfeffer & Kim-San 1967; Groves 1981) or alternatively placed in the genus Bibos (e.g. Geraads 1992).