Project Description

Ankole Cattle

Bos taurus taurus ankole

Animal Class: Mammals
Height: 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 feet at shoulder
Length: up to 6 ft. long
Weight: Cows = 800-1,200 lbs Bulls = 1,000-1,600 lbs.
Life Span: more than 20 years
Diet: Wild: grasses, leaves, acorns
Habitat: Ankole cattle are a domesticated breed of cattle native to Africa. The breed originated in eastern Africa, most commonly in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Lake Victoria, and Tanganyika. They live and graze in open forests and meadows.

Also called Watusi Cattle, Royal Ox, or King of Cattle, Ankole cattle are usually red in color but may also have a black, brown, white, yellow, fawn, or grey coat. The purer Ankole cattle have a medium-long head, a short neck with a deep dewlap and a narrow chest. The hump is cervico-thoracic, small and barely visible on the cow. Ankole cattle are noted for their dramatic horns. The horns may be straight or curved to resemble a lyre. Ankole are agile jumpers and runners to escape predators, but they can also use their long horns as a weapon to defend against predators. When threatened, the bulls will form a circle, horns facing out, around the cows with the calves in the very center. The cattle will also sleep in this circle formation. The Ankoles’ habitat can have daytime high temperatures of 120 degrees F, nighttime low temperature of 20 degrees F, seasonally limited water supplies, and low-quality sparsely-available food. Therefore, the Ankoles horns act as a cooling system. The blood circulating to the tip the horn disperses heat before it returns to the body. The cattle are also able to live with low amounts of water and can sustain themselves on low-quality feed. HORN SIZE: 8′ from tip to tip with horn base up to 28″ in circumference, 8″ in diameter.