beast of burden

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xrn

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi everyone!

So there is this documentary that I'm watching. In it, the narrator is talking about the animal gaur. It's like a bigger and badder version of a bull. While describing it, the narrator says:
beast of burden
So here's the thing. The gaur is apparently a wild animal. The narrator refers to them as "wild" about five or six times during the documentary. And he warns not to cross paths with them because they attack, etc. BUT, as you can see, in the sentence above, he calls it a "beast of burden." Now, at first glance, what I'm taking that to mean is that they carry load and cargo, that they are used by humans for transportation.

But that can't be true because gaurs are definitely wild and free animals. I Googled gaur images and didn't see any photos where the gaur was carrying some kind of load. And the narrator keeps referring to them as "wild." Also, there is no footage of them carrying cargo in the documentary.

So, I'm asking, what could the phrase in bold mean other than "an animal that carries cargo"?

Thank you in advance.
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    "Beast of burden" can only be reasonably used to refer to an animal that carries things for people, xrn. If you are sure that the gaur has never been domesticated and used to carry loads, then "beast of burden" makes no sense in the narration.
     

    xrn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    If you are sure that the gaur has never been domesticated and used to carry loads,
    I'm not sure but that's what the documentary and hundreds of Google images suggest. They aren't shown carrying loads in the documentary. They are referred to as "wild" several times. It is said that they don't like humans. Experts warn "Don't get close to them." So I'm confused.

    Within any realm of possibility, could it mean "an animal that has suffered too much" or "an animal that is dealing with a lot of issues"?
     
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    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    What is the documentary about, and who made it please. How do you know that gaur is the correctly spelling?
    I've never heard the word. There are no wild beasts of burden, because it's a contradiction of terms.
     
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    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Within any realm of possibility, could it mean "an animal that has suffered too much" or "an animal that is dealing with a lot of issues"?
    That would be a gross misuse of the term "beast of burden", xrn. I don't think there is much chance of anything like that behind the term. Some animals just aren't suitable for domestication.

    Apparently, zebras can't be used for riding even though they are members of the horse family. They are too mean and wild to be ridden. From what you have told me, the gaur sounds as though it is too fierce to be a viable candidate for domestication.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    "Beast of burden" can only be reasonably used to refer to an animal that carries things for people, xrn. If you are sure that the gaur has never been domesticated and used to carry loads, then "beast of burden" makes no sense in the narration.
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    What is the documentary about, and who made it please. How do you know that gaur is the correctly spelling?
    I've heard the word. There are no wild beasts of burden, because it's a contradiction of terms.
    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Please note that we constantly plead for source and "a documentary" tells us nothing.
     
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