COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County Zoo is very excited to announce the birth of a female Watusi calf on November 4th in the African Savanna! “This is the first Watusi calf born in the history of the Cape May County Zoo! She was born to her 8-year-old mother ‘Darla’ and her 4-year-old father ‘Howie Richard,’ reported Dr. Alexander Ernst, Veterinarian.
Watusi are a domestic breed of cattle that are found throughout Africa. These cattle have large horns that can weigh several hundred pounds and span 4-6 feet! African tribes use these cattle as status symbols and the cattle with the largest horns belong to tribal leaders. Aside from aesthetics the horns function to cool the animal in the African heat. The blood from the body courses to the large horns where it cools off and then brings relief to the animal when the cooled blood returns to the body.
“This young female calf is now the sixth member of the Watusi herd here at the Zoo. Aside from her dam and sire she also lives with two steers and a cow. She can be viewed every day in our African Savanna,” added Ernst.
The Watusi live in savannas and open grasslands and their diet consists of grass and leaves. The calves are especially alert and are capable of running along with their mothers and the herd within a short time of birth. The breed is highly social, much preferring to stay in a group for company and protection.
“The Cape May County Zoo continues to provide a source of entertainment and education to the more than 600,000 residents and visitors who pass through the gates annually,” said County Commissioner Andrew Bulakowski, liaison to the Parks and Zoo. “Recognized as one of the top attractions in the state and beyond, our Zoo is ranked the fifth best in the United States and ranked number 13 in the world, according to TripAdvisor. On behalf of the Board of Commissioners and myself we could not be prouder.
“Additionally, the Zoo is accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), this doesn’t happen by accident, this takes knowledge, passion, diligence, and a dedicated staff working together every day of the year. The first-time birth of a Watusi is just one more example of what makes the Cape May County Zoo one of the best in the world”.
The Cape May County Parks and Zoo are free to the public and open every day except Christmas Day. The County Parks are open from 7 a.m. until Dusk, the Zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.