Ankole-Watusi Cattle

Ankole-Watusi Cattle Bos africanus watusi

Type of Animal:

Farms, ranches, villages, meadows, grasslands, fields, savanna, forests

Derived from Sanga cattle breeds in Africa. Composite form originated in US. Now found worldwide.

Extremely large long thick horns, color ranges from red to reddish-brown to fawn to black to pied or combo of colors

Grasses, leaves, hay, acorns

Status in Wild:

Breeding on farms, ranches, zoos, & wildlife parks. Used for meat, milk, hides, & show. Possible reintroductions to Africa.

Herds of 10-300 

Additional Info:

Male: Bull
Female: Cow
Young: Calf
Group: Herd

Male: 1,000-1,600 lbs
Female: 900-1,200 lbs
Young: 100-150 lbs

9 months

Life Span:
20 years

Male: 5-6.5 ft
Female: 4-5.5 ft
Young: 2 ft

Body Length:
Male: 7-8 ft
Female: 6-6.5 ft
Young: 3 ft

Tail Length:
2.7-3 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators of adults are lions, hyenas, wild dogs, feral dogs, leopards, crocodilians, wolves, coyotes, bears, cheetahs, & cougars/puma/mountain lion. Large pythons, caracals, & wild pigs prey on calves. Ravens prey on newborns. 

These cattle derived from Ankole Cattle of Africa-these cattle brought to Germany in early 1900s, then spreading to other European zoos & private collections-some of these then imported to US & Canada in 1920s & 1930s w/ these cattle being cross-bred w/ other breeds w/ these animals later dying out. These cattle later imported in 1960 from Europe & crossed w/ angus cattle, Texas Longhorns, & European breeds. Composite Ankole-Watusi established itself in 1970s in US w/ many being exported worldwide. 

Long horns used for defense & regulating body temperature.

Calves sleep encircled by adult cows.

These cattle tend to be friendly & gentle.

Ancestry of these cattle dates back to more than 6,000 years ago when Zebu from Asia cross-bred w/ Egyptian Longhorns.

Sexually mature at 16-18 months old.

Horns start developing at 2 months old.

Also called Ankole Cattle, Watusi Cattle, Ankole Longhorn, & African Longhorn.

Fun Fact(s):
Milk is 10% butterfat.

Milk & blood often mixed together to make high protein milk drink.

They’re great runners & jumpers.

These cattle store fat in their humps during periods of scarcity.

These cattle have longest horns of any cattle breed, reaching 8 ft long.

These cattle known as “cattle of kings” & used as status/wealth symbol in Africa. In fact, these cattle sometimes used as currency as well as in rituals & ceremonies.

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