Zebu is the official national animal of Madagascar. Zebu was entitled to the official Madagascar national animal. Bos Primigenius is the scientific name of Zebu, which is sometimes known as indicine cattle or humped cattle. It is natively found in Africa and Asia, even though, they are also found in South America, North America, along with many other countries throughout the world.
It is thought that presently found at least 270 million zebus in India, 155 million in Brazil, and 2 million in the U.S. Madagascar’s national animal Zebus is the well accepted to the people of Madagascar for its multiple values and that is the reason to designate as the official national animal of the country. It is also the national animal of Madagascar and Nepal.
National Animal of Madagascar Facts—
- Common Name: Zebus
- Scientific Name: Bos Primigenius
- Color: The colors of Zebus varied with males and females. The males (bulls) were covered with dark brown or black shaggy coat with a light stripe on the back, while females (cows) were reddish-brown colored.
- Length: 34 to 42 inches in length.
- Height: 1.4 m to 1.5m in height at the shoulder.
- Weight: weight range between 150 kg to 200 kg.
- Diet: It is an herbivore animal. They prefer clover and grass type of food. Twigs and acorns were usually consumed during the winter. They also can consume seeds, leaves, and flowers. They spend nearly 8 hours in re-chewing of swallowed food and prepare it for the final digestion.
- Cubs: Babies of the Zebus called calf. The Cow (female) have a gestation period of 9 to 11 months, with single calf.
- Behavior: Zebus is a social creature that lives in large herds. It forms close bonds with 2 to 4 members of the group and spends its time with them. They sleep during the night on an average of 4 hours per 24 hours. Zebu is a social behavioral domesticated animal, such as group cohesion, dominance, and leadership
- Lifespan: Up to20 years.
The national animal of Madagascar, Zebus is covered with short, dense fur that can be grey, white, red, brown or black in color. Certain species have spotted fur. They have a large head with big eyes and flexible ears, which can move in all directions. The domestic cows have short necks with dewlaps hanging below the chin. The jaws are designed for the circular grinding motion used to crush coarse vegetation. They have two hollow horns and a long tufted tail. Both males and female Zebus have large forward curved horns, depending on the variety.
Surprisingly the cow has a visual field of nearly 360 degrees that is possible due to their big eyes positioned on the lateral sides of the head. They cannot differentiate green and red color despite excellent eyesight. Being a ruminant, the Zebu have a same digestive system as other cattle, which means they have a 4-chambered stomach and chew their cud. Zebu has an excellent sense of smell and hearing. They can able to hear or identify such type of sounds, which have not detected by a human. Bulls were very aggressive and they frequently battled with each other to establish dominance and get the opportunity to mate with females during the late summer and early autumn.
Madagascar’s national animal the Zebus has separate names of both male and female. They are identified as; the females are called “cow.” The males are known as a bull, and the babies name calf. Cattle are frequently raised mainly for beef and milk, even though their meat is not considered very tasty. Their dung is often used for fuel or fertilizer, and they are also used as draught animals, pulling carts, plows, and other farm apparatus.
Zebus are also used for leather, and their horns and bones are often used to make jewelry, ornaments, and cutlery. The Zebus are targeted by wolves, bears, tigers, hyenas, and lions. Zebus is a sacrificial animal. They are being killed and eaten in various occasions such as marriages, funerals and New Year’s Eve in some countries, such as Madagascar. The meat (Beef) of zebu is the favorite dish amongst the people. Zebus have represented Nandi, the sacred bull of Shiva in India.