Madagascar Zebu


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Omby Malagasy
Madagascar group
Special Characteristics: 
Thoracic humped and short-horned zebu; horns can also be long in the west of the island; the hump is large and pyramidal; coat colour is very variable because of active selection by different tribes for particular colours and patterns, and in fact there are 140 words in the Malagasy language to name these variations (Felius, 1995).
Main Location: 
Inhabits the Island of Madagascar.
The Madagascar zebu is a relatively homogenous population of thoracic-humped and short-horned zebu found on the island of Madagascar. The breed is believed to have originated from interbreeding of Indo-Pakistani zebu cattle and African sanga cattle. Indonesian immigrants are known to have brought Indo-Pakistani zebus to Madagascar from India and Arabia, while Hamitic and Bantu people from East Africa introduced Humpless and sanga cattle. East African zebus were also imported to the island from 1506 onwards. Interbreeding among these cattle produced a stabilised indigenous breed of the Madagascar zebu (Felius, 1995; Rege and Tawah, 1999).