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Chiru Animal Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

Did you know that a chiru is also called a Tibetan antelope? Does that mean they live in Tibet? This lesson will teach you all about the chiru's habitat, diet, and life cycle, as well as other facts about these interesting animals!

What Does a Chiru Look Like?

Chiru are also called Tibetan antelope. They can be lots of different colors, like grey, beige, or reddish-brown, with lighter colors on their bellies.

Chiru
chiru

Their fur is really soft and the under layer of their fur, called shahtoosh, is really popular. Sadly, it has caused lots of people to hunt chiru so they can use this fur to make expensive shawls and scarves.

Chiru are pretty short, only about two feet tall and roughly four feet long. They can weigh between 55 and 90 pounds, which is about the size of a human child. Female chiru are usually smaller than male chiru.

Where Does a Chiru Live?

If you guessed that chiru live in Tibet because they're also known as Tibetan antelope, you're right! Chiru live in Asia, in a place called the Tibetan Plateau, which is an area of flat, high ground. The Tibetan plateau is very high, and you can find chiru in the mountains, valleys, and plains around it.

Tibetan Plateau
Tibetan plateau

They used to live all over this plateau, but now only live in the northwestern section. Chiru do travel a lot during the year, and they can cover long distances between the hot months and the cold months as they travel to stay warm and find food.

What Does a Chiru Eat?

Chiru are herbivores, which means they only eat plants. In other words, they're vegetarians! They like to eat grasses and shrubs.

How Do Chiru Grow?

Female chiru usually only give birth to one baby at a time. They're mammals, so they give birth to live babies who drink their mothers' milk. Did you know that almost half of chiru babies born die before they are two months old? It's hard to survive into adulthood if you're a chiru!

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