Scientific name: Bos javanicus
Other common names: Tembadau; Bali Cattle
The Banteng is native to the Southeast Asian region. Java Banteng (Bos javanicus) are found in Java; Burma Banteng (Bos birmanicus) are found in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam; Borneo Banteng (Bos lowi) are native to Borneo. The Banteng is a species of wild cattle that has been domesticated to perform work in the fields, forests, and bamboo jungles. It is currently classified by the IUCN as “endangered.”
Appearance / health:
Most of the Banteng cattle, including the subspecies, are black or blue-black. Oftentimes, females are reddish-brown with a dark dorsal stripe; among Borneo Banteng, the males are chocolate-brown. Both sexes have white-colored lower legs, rump, and muzzle. And there are white spots above the eyes. Bantengs range from 6 to 7.5 ft. length, and up to 5 ft. in height. Both sexes are horned but the male’s horns are long and arched upwards while the female’s is short, tightly curved, and point inward. A slight ridges or hump is seen above the shoulders. The neck is slender and the head is small compared to the size of the animal.
Behavior / temperament:
Banteng are known to be shy and would hide among dense foliage to evade humans and predators. They often feed or forage at night when humans are not around. They may be difficult to approach and tame, but over the years, many of them have been domesticated as working animals.
Housing / diet:
Banteng are often allowed to roam in the wild or stay outdoors. They hide among dense forests and bamboo groves for safety and shelter from harsh climates.
Banteng cattle feed on leaves, shoots, fruits, bamboo, grass, and soft branches of shrubs and plants.