The Longhorn Ankole Cows of Eastern Africa are usually remembered for the impressive size and shape of their horns, which can grow up to 2.4 meters (almost 8 feet) from tip to tip. Called the Cattle of the Kings, this majestic breed is also reportedly hearty in harsh environmental conditions, able to survive on less food and water than other domesticated livestock.
“Ankole cows are called the Cattle of the Kings because of their close ties and importance to the royalty of the south western part of Uganda and Rwanda…
“It is believed that the longhorns have evolved to protect the Ankole cattle from dangerous predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. When attacked, the cows will form a tight circle as their horns face outwards to ward off dangerous predators.
“Ankole cows originally descended from the Ethiopian Sanga cattle that originated in Eurasia with a lineage that goes back for 1000 of years.”
And via the Bwindi Forest National Park:
“The cattle are treated as sacred to the significance they play in the families of the cattle keepers because most people wholly depend on the cattle to care for their families…
“The cattle is reared for both milk and meat purposes although the skin can also be used for making cultural regalia like drums, stools, sandals and clothing.
“Inyambo are raised in the Right valley especially along the border of Rwanda and Uganda in the cattle corridor. The people who rear the cattle also determine time according o the grazing period of the cows that is mornings are referred to as grazing time and the evenings are referred to as home time as this is the time when the cattle is brought back home from the grazing fields.”
Watch these cow videos next:
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• Planet-friendly foods for gassy cows?
• Milking a dairy cow by hand
• Grace Lehane plays her concertina for the cattle in Kilmichael Cork
Related exploration: What’s the difference between horns and antlers?
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