Watusi

The Ankole-Watusi is a breed of cattle originally native to Africa. These cattle with their magnificent horns are eye stoppers where ever they are seen. These animals ancestry can be traced back more than 6,000 years and have often been referred to as the "Cattle of Kings". Their large distinctive horns have the largest base diameters of any other breed and can reach up to 8 feet from tip to tip. These animals when threatened and at night will huddle in a large circle facing outward with their young within the circle, this allows them use their horns to keep the threat from getting to them or their young. Their horns also act like radiators by circulating the blood through them helping the animal regulate its body temperature. Since these animals were developed in a climate where the daily temperature could vary from 20 to 120 degrees they tolerate temperature and weather extremes well. Ankole-Watusis are medium sized cattle weighing from 900 to 1,600 pounds. These animals live in the savannas and open grasslands, their diet consist of grass and leaves.

The Ankole-Watusi breed existence started long ago, it begins with the following. The Long-horned, hump less domestic cattle were well established in the Nile Valley by 4000 B.C. These cattle, known as the Egyptian or Hamitic Longhorn, appear in pictographs in Egyptian pyramids. Over the next 2,000 years, the Egyptian Longhorn migrated with its owners from the Nile to Ethiopia and then down to the southern reaches of Africa.

By 2000 B. C., Longhorn Zebu from Pakistan and India reached Africa. When these Zebu reached the region now known as Ethiopia and Somalia, they were interbred with the Egyptian Longhorn. The cross breeding of the two produced the Sanga which then spread to the Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and other parts of eastern Africa. Sanga is the base stock of many of the indigenous African breeds and demonstrated most of the typical Zebu characteristics, such as pendulous dewlap and sheath, upturned horns, and a neck hump. Modern descendants of the Sanga, however, vary greatly in size, conformation and horns, due to differing selection pressures by different tribes.