Since today is Wednesday, which is also known as “Hump Day” here in North America, I figured we would look at some humped cattle. Okay, so they are better known as Zebu, which is pretty fun to say – go ahead and give it a try, “ZEBU”. I told you it was fun. Anyway, the Zebu is a type of domesticated cattle originating in South Asia and is the only species of cattle that can easily adapt to the hot tropical climates. If you don’t feel like going to South Asia to look at this interesting animal, you can always take a trip to Africa since they have been introduced to this continent as well. You have to love having choices.
As you can imagine, the Zebu is also called “humped cattle” as a result of the distinctive hump on its upper back. Besides this hump these animals are also distinguished by their drooping ears and large dewlap. Compared to other cattle species throughout the world, the Zebu is one of the smallest. These domesticated animals typically grow to 1 m (3′) in height and will weigh less than an average cow. It is believed that this smaller size is what allows the humped cattle to adapt to the incredibly hot climate.
For some reason the Zebu seems to be resistant to parasites and disease, which is a pretty decent quality to have, especially when you live in tropical climates. This resistance also makes the Zebu a great candidate for cross breeding. And wouldn’t you know it that they have been bred with native cattle from Africa and Brazil. There we go again trying to create the best animal species known to man.
Although you may have never heard of this “humped cattle” before, there are actually over 4 million Zebu farms worldwide. India, Brazil and the United States seem to lead the way with these type of farms. If you are not a big fan of observing cattle in an enclosed area then perhaps you need to take a trip to South Asia to view some of the remaining wild Zebu’s. You had better hurry though as habitat destruction is rapidly decreasing the population of this wild version of the Zebu.
Well, I hoped you enjoyed your Hump Day Fact! See you all tomorrow.