BantengScientific Name Bos javanicus

Conservation Status Endangered

Appearance

Males and females are easily identifiable. Males are coloured black in the Burma and Java subspecies while they are a chocolate brown in the Bornean subspecies. Females are a buff colour in all of the subspecies.

Both genders have white markings which appear like socks on their legs, a white rear and spots above the eyes.

Horns are present on both genders. Females have shorter, curved horns which point inwards. Males have upwardly pointing curved horns which are connected by a bald patch. In males the horns may be 60-75cm (23.6-29.5in). Sitting above the shoulders is a small hump.

The tail is roughly 65-70cm (23.6-29.5in) long with the top being quite slender while the end is bushy and black.

At the shoulder they stand 1.55-1.65m (5.1-5.4ft) tall. Their body measures 1.9-2.25m (6.2-7.4ft). With the length of the tail additional to this. Their average weight is between 600 and 800kg (1323lb and 1764lb).

Lifespan                                                                                  

In the wild banteng will live for up to 20 years while in captivity they can live for up to 26 years.

Diet

Bantengs are herbivores. They feed upon shrubs, fruits, leaves, bamboo and grasses. Their diet changes seasonally with grass being more popular in the dry season and herbaceous plants being more popular in the monsoon.

Habitat

Asia is the native home of the banteng. Here they can be found throughout Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. They are extinct in India, Bangladesh and Brunei Darussalam.

An introduced population of banteng also exists in Northern Australia. Estimated to number around 400 currently, these are the descendants of 20 animals released by British troops in the 1800s.

BantengBanteng occupy a wide range of habitats including open deciduous forests, evergreen forests, open clearings, dense forests, bamboo jungles and secondary forests. They generally graze in clearings, retreating to dense forest to shelter.

Reproduction

Breeding in the wild is focused around May and June while in captivity it has been recorded year round.

A male will lead a herd of females. He breeds with all of them and does not allow other males to mate with them.

After a gestation period of 385 days the female will give birth to a single calf. The calf will quickly get to its feet and begin walking. It takes six to nine months before the calf is ready to be weaned off of milk.

Sexual maturity is achieved between the second and third year.

Behavior

A herd of banteng can number anywhere from 2 to 40 animals. The leader is a female and only one male is allowed in the herd. He will fight heavily for the rights to his females. Males will form bachelor herds when they are not leading a group of females.

When left in a natural state bantengs are mostly active during the day but where humans have encroached on their habitat they are primarily nocturnal.

The dhole is the main predator of the the banteng but they mainly focus on young, sick and elderly individuals. Humans also prey upon them along with using them in farming. The domesticated version of the banteng is referred to as the Bali cattle.

Quick facts

Banteng are also commonly known as tembadau.

A banteng was the second endangered species which was cloned. A cloned banteng lived at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for 7 years.

Photo Credits:

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By Esby (talk) 21:31, 14 January 2011 (UTC) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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By Rufus46 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons