- The Ankole-Watusi is a very impressive looking type of bovine. This remarkable breed, a species of Sanga cattle, remains famous for its gargantuan horns. Sometimes (and for understandable reasons), people refer to it as the Ankole Longhorn.
- Yet, in the wild, its numbers rapidly declined. Consequently, the IUCN once listed it as Endangered. Its numbers later increased enough, however, that the organization subsequently removed it from the Endangered List.
- It should be noted that this numerical increase occurred partly due to captive breeding practices since its appearance makes these impressive creatures extremely popular as show animals. This is perhaps better than just slaughtering it for the horns.
Ankole-Watusi Physical Description
With the obvious exception of the horns, the Ankole-Watusi forms a medium-sized type of cattle. Concerning size, it shows a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism, a common trait among mammals.
Because of this, females typically attain a maximum weight of 1,200 lb (540 kg). Meanwhile, males usually reach an upper-limit weight of roughly 1,600 lb (730 kg).
In color, individuals most typically display a solid dark brown, though some individuals may display white spots or blotches, as well.
Its most distinctive and most noteworthy feature, of course, remains the extremely large horns. These grow honeycombed with blood vessels, to aid in cooling. Nature is amazing.
The animal also often uses the horns with respectable effectiveness in defense of the individual or the young. The span of these incredible horns may be as much as 8 ft (2.4 m) from tip to tip. Now that is pretty impressive.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Bovidae
Ankole-Watusi Habitat, Ecology, and History
The Ankole-Watusi is endemic to the Saharan regions of Africa, so it has evolved to live in extremely hot and dry climates.
It has also adapted quite well too, and subsequently established itself in, other regions. These include Europe, Australia, and both North and South America.
This marvelous creature has an entirely herbivorous diet, like other bovines. It consumes primarily local grasses and leaves.
The entire herd sleeps together at night, with the calves placed in the center, and the bulls sleeping along the outer rim, with the horns facing outwards.
The Ankole-Watusi holds the (dubious) distinction of being one of the earliest confirmed domesticated animals. Records indicate that its domestication began at least 6,000 years ago.