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ANKOLE - WATUSI CATTLE

ANKOLE-WATUSI CATTLEBos tarurus indicus

Conservation Status: Low Risk / Least Concern

Domesticated, Rare Breed

statusbar

CLASS

Mammalia

ORDER

Artiodactyla

FAMILY

Bovidae

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General Characteristics:

Color: 

Varies; can be  black, brown, tan, red, or white with spotting of those colors

Size:

Up to 52 in tall at shoulders

Weight:

Cows weigh from 800 to 1200 pounds and bulls weighing from 1000 to 1600 pounds.

Average Lifespan: 

12-20 years

Captive Lifespan:

26 years

Distribution:

Domestic populations world wide, originally from Africa.

Reproduction:

Mating: 

Anytime of the year

Gestation/Incubation:

280 - 290 days

Litter/Clutch Size:

1

Mature: 

8-10 months

Diet:

Grasses, herbs, leaves, and twigs

Behavior:

A domesticated, diurnal breed of cattle, watusi are kept by the native peoples of Africa where they are raised as a status of wealth.  These cattle demonstrate a social hierarchy, having a dominant bull and his harem of females and young.  Watusi are used by their owners for milk production and for “bleeding” where the blood is collected as a food; watusi are rarely killed for meat except in important ceremonies.

Teaching Facts:

1. They posses the largest and most dramatic horns of any breed of cattle. Individuals in this country have been known to have horn bases that measure 28 inches in circumference, 8 inches in diameter and eight feel from tip to tip.