On February 19, Zoo Wroclaw welcomed a charming new Banteng. The calf is the first of its kind born at Wroclaw in almost ten years!
The little Banteng is also a member of a species that is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. According to estimates, wild populations have decreased by 80% in the last few decades, and there are believed to be only 4,000 to 8,000 individuals remaining in Asia.
The Banteng (Bos javanicus), also known as “tembadau”, is a species of wild cattle native to Southeastern Asia.
The Banteng is similar in size to domestic cattle, measuring 1.55 to 1.65 m (5 ft 1 in to 5 ft 5 in) tall at the shoulder and 2.45–3.5 m (8 ft 0 in–11 ft 6 in) in length.
In males, the coat is often dark chestnut in color, while females and the young exhibit a lighter chestnut with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, and white spots above the eyes. The horns of females are short and tightly curved, pointing inward at the tips, while the horns of males arc up.
Banteng prefer to live in sparse forests and feed on grasses, bamboo, fruit, leaves, and young branches. Like domestic cattle, they live in herds.
Cows give birth to one calf after a gestation period of 9.5 month, and the calf is weaned at around 9 months. Their lifespan is up to about 26 years in captivity and around 20 years in the wild.
The main threats and reasons for population decline within the species are: reduction of habitat, hunting, hybridization with domesticated cattle, and infections with cattle diseases.