Bantengs welcome new arrival
Animal news | 12 January 2022
The few sunbeams that managed to break through the clouds today were enough to entice our nearly four-week-old banteng bull calf out into the open. Baby Dhanno was in boisterous spirits as he explored the outdoor enclosure. Dhanno was born on 17 December, and is the third calf for our breeding pair Ilonka and Kingsley. While Kingsley arrived in Dresden Zoo in 2018, Ilonka was born here on 5 February 2003, and has already produced multiple offspring of this critically endangered species of wild tropical cattle – Dhanno is Ilonka’s fourteenth calf! Zensi, a cow born in 2017, completes the current banteng herd, which lives alongside the zoo’s black Ayam Cemani chickens.
The bantengs at Dresden Zoo are members of the largest of the three subspecies – the Javan bantengs. Bulls and cows differ markedly in appearance due to the colour of their hides. Though both sexes have white legs and haunches, the remainder of the bull’s hide is chocolate brown in colour, while the cow’s is reddish brown. Breeding and transfers are coordinated by an EEP (EAZA Ex-situ Programme). Bantengs are classed as “endangered” on the IUCN list (as of 2016). In their natural habitat, they are only found in nature reserves. The total population is estimated to be between 4,000 and 8,000.