Zebu at the Zoo

December 5, 2013

A pair of small cattle representing a breed believed to originate in India some 6,000 years ago have moved onto the zoo’s farm.

They may be new to us, but the miniature zebu is one of the oldest breeds of cattle. It’s also one of the smallest. We’re happy to welcome a young male and female pair to our barn area.

Although these animals can be black or reddish, ours are light gray with a white underneath. While both have horns on top of their heads, you can tell the cow from the bull by her reddish tuft of hair.

Zebus are grazers and eat mostly hay. At less than a year old, the zoo’s pair are still small in size, but eventually they could weigh up to 500 pounds and measure 3–4 feet. The pair will take their time maturing, reaching adulthood between ages 2 and 3. For now you can watch them enjoy adolescence and visit them along with sheep, goats, turkeys and other domestic animals.