Ankole Longhorn CattleBos taurus
FamilyBovidae. The cow, goat and sheep family
Conservation StatusListed as a recovering breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
DistributionFrom Lake Mobutu to Lake Tanganyika, Eastern Africa.
HabitatDomestic pastures and other natural grazing areas.
FactoidA steer named Lurch is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest horn length of 10 feet.
They are large cattle with a short neck, deep dewlap and sloping rump. They vary in coloration from solid red, to fawn, to spotted black. They have long, symmetrical horns which are thick at the base, tapering to a point.Domesticated for over 6,000 years, like other cattle, Ankole are grazers, eating primarily grasses and shrubs that may be supplemented with grain by their owner. Their digestive systems can utilize food of poor quality and limited quantity.Usually only calves are vulnerable to predation from African carnivores. Adults that become separated from the herd can also be vulnerable to predation.Cows can breed any time of the year. Gestation is 9 months. They usually give birth to one calf, but can have twins. Newborns weigh between 30-50 lbs. During the day calves stay with an “auntie” cow for protection while the rest of the herd leaves to graze and at night they sleep in the center of the herd.Ankole live where temperatures can range from 20-120 degrees F, and have therefore developed the large horns, which are honey-combed with blood vessels, to help with thermoregulation.