On February 19th charming Saga, a banteng, came into the world.
The banteng is not an ordinary cow- the species is threatened with extinction. It is one of only three species of Asian cattle, and one of the two that have been domesticated.
The wild banteng population (Bali, Java, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and Thailand) is estimated to about 4.000 to 8.000 animals, and is still decreasing. Banteng are most threatened by hunting and reduction of habitat for agriculture. Interestingly they are also killed for their horns, which are used to make a soup with pseudo medicinal qualities - the dish supposedly increases overall vitality.
Therefore, it is not surprising that this species often adopts a nocturnal lifestyle, while by nature is more diurnal.
It survives in the natural environment thanks to innate shyness and distrustfulness. Despite numerous attempts, wild banteng were only tamed in Bali.
This is also why banteng are difficult to reproduce in captivity, and are rare in conservation breeding. In Poland, you can see them exclusively in Wrocław. Only 30 other zoos around the world have them. The total zoo population counts 15 males and 29 females. It is admittedly very little.
The first banteng arrived in Wrocław in 1992 - 5 females from the Rotterdam zoo, and a male from Dresden.
Our current breeding herd consists of females Roze aka Delma from Riga, Babsi from Berlin, Sterra from Arnhem (the mother of small Saga), and a male Zafiro.
The birth of Saga is twice the joy because it is the first banteng birth in Wrocław in 10 years. Due to freezing weather, the baby spends time with her mother in the back, but as soon as it gets warmer, they will be outside in their enclosure opposite the Terai pavilion (Indian rhinoceros).