Cape May County Park and Zoo
707 Route 9 North - Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
Exit 11 off the Garden State Parkway
Open Year Round: 10:00 AM - 3:30 PM
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Ankole-Watusi

Latin Name: Bos Taurus

Other Name: Ankole Longhorn Cattle

Habitat and Range: The Ankole‑Watusi breed is part of the Sanga family of African cattle breeds, which originated over 2,000 years ago from a combination of the Egyptian Longhorn cattle of Africa and Zebu Longhorn cattle originally from India. Today about 1,500 Ankole‑Watusi cattle are found outside of Africa, 80% of these are in the United States. The population of cattle in the breed’s home region of Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda has been numerous, the Ugandan population is roughly 2.9 million individuals. The population has experienced dramatic declines due to civil war, economic upheaval, and government supported crossbreeding schemes.

Lifespan: up to 20 years.

Gestation: 1 calf is born weighing 30-50 pounds after a 9 month gestation period. 

Diet: The Watsui is a herbivore mainly comsuming vegetation and grasses.

Adaptations: Because of the ever changing climate in Africa the Watusi tolerate temperature and weather extremes well. Their large horns act as radiators. Blood is circulated through the horn area and is then cooled and returned to the rest of the body. This process is esstential for heat dispersal.

IUCN Status: Has not been assessed by the ICUN Red List.

Conservation: The Ankole‑Watusi International Registry was formed in 1983 to promote the breed in North America. Many founding members of the registry had different intentions for the Watusi. Some have emphasized its exotic appearance and others its commercial qualities. Though often dismissed, the Ankole-Watusi has much to offer the U.S. beef industry. Their adaptations to harsh environments, excellent maternal abilities, high butterfat milk, and lean beef are among its assets.


Did you Know: Watusi cattle hold the record for having the largest circumference on their horns. A bull named CT Woodie held the record with 40.75 inches in circumference on his horns.

Here at the CMC Zoo: We have one cow, Bertha and one bull Jeff. Bertha was born September 1, 2010 and she was acquired from Lake Tobias Wildlife Park. We recieved Jeff, our bull in 2008 and his birth date is unknown.

 

Sources:

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/ankolewatusi/

https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/ankole-watusi

https://seaworld.org/Animal-Info/Animal-Bytes/Mammals/Ankole

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