Miniature zebu calf at Basel Zoo

On 14 April, a miniature zebu was born at Basel Zoo. This is the second calf for mother Conny (5). No problems were experienced during the birth, particularly pleasing given that Conny has previously had a Caesarean section and a miscarriage. The bull calf was initially still very shy, but curiosity soon prevailed.

The miniature zebu calf was born in the outdoor enclosure. He was very cautious for the first few days, even hiding behind his mother on the way between the stall and the outdoor area. Gradually he became increasingly boisterous, inquisitively approaching the other female miniature zebus and hunting for their teats. The little one even investigated the bull to see if he had anything to offer.

Since then, the calf has been increasingly seeking contact with the other female zebus. The bull chases him away whenever he comes too close. He likewise inquisitively approached the photographer’s camera, with his attentive mother also keeping a close eye. These little adventures are still short-lived with the calf quickly making his way back to the safety of his mother.

The miniature zebus in the children's zoo are one of the 600 to 750 domestic cattle breeds currently known worldwide. A distinction is made between non-humped and humped cattle, and miniature zebus are members of the second group. Their most striking feature is their withers hump where the cervical and thoracic spine meet. The role of the impressively developed muscles particularly found in zebu bulls remains unclear and is therefore considered a secondary sexual characteristic.