Inhabit the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in close proximity to the tsetse fly belt; dwarf and poor body condition due to the difficult environment; interbreeding and crossbreeding caused declining population size, and with only 1000 heads on latest estimates, the breed is considered critically endangered of extinction (Rege, 1999).
Found in the Moshi, Upase and Usambara area, particularly the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Mbulu hills, of northern mainland Tanzania.
The Small East African Zebu are believed to have descended from the recent introductions of zebu into Africa from Asia, and some may have ancestral linkages with cattle of the Large East African Zebu group. The breeds or strains that belong to the Abyssinian Shorthorned Zebu group have tribal and ecological origins, which do not necessarily imply genetic differences. Distinct from cattle of the large zebu of East Africa, the small Abyssinian Shorthorned Zebu inhabits the higher altitude, wetter agricultural areas, and hence they are also referred to as Ethiopian Highland Zebu. The Jem Jem is one of this in the highlands of southern Ethiopia, in particular the Jem Jem, Sidamo and Bale highlands (Rege and Tawah, 1999).