Meet The Ankole Longhorn, The Cow With Horns Larger Than The Average Man

Cows are one of the most common types of livestock, providing meat, milk, and more for us humans to survive. Though there are a variety of breeds with distinctive features—black Angus, Texas longhorn, and Highland cattle, to name a few—the animals all look similar enough, for the most part.

But there’s one variety of cattle whose appearance is anything but common, and when you see what it looks like, you’ll have to do a double-take!

Meet the Ankole-Watusi, also known as the Ankole Longhorn.

bull1

This unique-looking cow is known for its enormous horns, which are some of the largest in the world.

bull5

When measuring from one tip to the other, their horns can actually span up to 8 feet. That’s taller than the average man!

bull21

The horns are used for defense, but they also help regulate the animal’s internal temperature.

bull26

Blood vessels inside the horns help with circulation and cool down the cow when it gets overheated.

bull24

This internal thermometer comes in handy in the Ankole-Watusi’s native home of Africa.

bull30

The cattle’s unusual name comes from the people who inhabit the regions where it originated.

bull11

The variety of cow found in Uganda, for instance, is called the Ankole, after the Nkole tribe.

bull28

In Rwanda, the Tutsi people developed the name Watusi for their local variety.

bull3

The cows are an indicator of wealth and tribal status.

bull8

As a result, those with the largest horns were owned by kings.

bull15

Since ancient times, the Ankole-Watusi have been considered sacred.

bull6

Because the wealth of their owners was determined by the number of live cattle, these cows are rarely used for meat.

bull34

Instead, their owners try to get the maximum amount of milk from their livestock.

bull29

Because the Ankole-Watusi don’t produce much milk in general, early owners came up with a special milking process.

bull14

The female cow is left to graze all day, then brought home to her calf.

bull9

The calf suckles briefly to stimulate milk production, but then he’s taken away.

bull13

The owner then milks the cow immediately.

bull33

After hand-milking has been completed, the calf suckles more before being separated from its mother again.

bull7

This process repeats every day, but due to the low nourishment of calves, many young Ankole-Watusi die before they reach adulthood.

bull10

Adult Watusi can weigh between 900 and 1,600 pounds, larger than most other types of cattle.

bull35

Newborn calves, however weigh just 30 to 50 pounds.

bull25

So the Ankole-Watusi developed an advanced way to protect their young.

bull23

At night, the entire herd all sleeps together.

bull12

They sleep in a circle, with the calves in the middle and the adults surrounding them for greater security.

bull22

Luckily, adult Ankole-Watusi can survive on very few nutrients.

bull2

They live in savannas and open fields and eat mostly grass and leaves.

bull27

Their stomachs are resilient, meaning they can still become nourished even when there isn’t much to eat.

bull32

In the 1960s, the cattle first reached the United States.

bull17

Today they can be found all over the world.

bull18

Sadly, African populations are decreasing due to the introduction of more disease-prone Holstein cattle to the continent.

bull31

But worldwide, the Ankole-Watusi are in no danger of becoming extinct.

bull20

In 2004, a US bull named CT Woodie won the Guinness World Record for largest horn circumference at 40.75 inches.

bull16

That record still stands today!

bull19

After having survived for so long, here’s hoping the Ankole-Watusi and their majestic horns will continue to thrive for years to come!

bull4

Have you ever seen anything like this before? It wouldn’t be any surprise if their heads get tired from holding up those heavy horns all day long!

Share this cattle’s impressive story with your friends below!

Recommended From Honest To Paws

Stay up to date on the
latest trending stories!

like our facebook page!