The Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre at Sparsholt College Group has welcomed the birth of a female Dwarf Zebu calf (Bos taurus indicus).
The calf has been named Clover by the keepers. The birth went smoothly out in the paddock, and she was suckling from mum within a couple of hours. There are only 17 individuals registered in the collections of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). Clover is recorded as being the first female calf born in 6 years. Clover is the second calf born to mum Tonks; her father is called Hector.
The Zebu was originally domesticated in Southern Asia and became the dominant form of domesticated cattle in India. From there it spread through most of the south, including the Middle East, Africa, South America, and parts of Europe and North America, where people crossed it with local cattle to create unique breeds. Zebus prefer the open grasslands and plains where food is most abundant.
Animal Health and Welfare Research Centre Manager, Calvin Allen, said: “Sparsholt College and University Centre Sparsholt currently have two bulls and four cow Dwarf Zebu. Clover will be an exciting addition for staff and students to work with and learn from. Clover will be an important animal in maintaining zebu populations in the UK due to the lack of females born in recent years”.