Watusi Cattle Arrive at Toledo Zoo

Posted May 13th, 2014 by Andi Norman  Category: Community Interest,


Three Watusi cattle have arrived at the Toledo Zoo and are on exhibit in Tembo Trail, near the rhinos.

The Watusi species originated in eastern Africa, though the original wild species has been extinct since the 1600s; today’s species survives as highly coveted domesticated animals. Nicknamed “the cattle of kings,” they have historically been regarded as a status symbol and a form of currency among the elite.

Watusi cattle’s most striking feature is their lyre-shaped horns which can reach up to 8 feet from tip to tip. The horns continue to grow throughout the animals’ lives, with a honeycomb of blood vessels inside acting like radiators to keep the animals cool in hot temperatures. Unlike many African animals, though, Watusi cattle are equally comfortable in cold temperatures as well as hot temperatures.

The Zoo’s three Watusi cattle – Handome, Kurlee and Sur — are all six-year-old males standing 4 to 5 feet tall with horns that measure 3 to 7 feet from tip to tip. Handsome is dark red with splashes of white. Kurlee and Sur are both solid dark red, but Kurlee’s horns curve upward, while Sur’s curve outward.

Impressive animal ambassadors like these are just one reason the Toledo Zoo is rated second among the nation’s zoos, and eighth among overall family attractions, by FamilyFun Magazine.

Come visit the new Watusi cattle at the Toledo Zoo, and mark your calendar for a return visit May 23-25, when Penguin Beach, ‘Keet Retreat sponsored by BP, andFlamingo Key sponsored by Toledo Express Airport, all open! The Opening Weekend celebrations are sponsored by Kroger.

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