As we go through our days we never know where something will get our attention from social media. One of our Board members, Don Morgan, shared a photo on Facebook asking if anyone knew where it was taken.
I checked it out and contacted the photographer to answer the question and see if he would allow us to publish it. “Hi Clint, Someone shared your lovely photos of watusi (ankole longhorn cattle) on Facebook. Where were these taken? Would you mind if we published them on the World Watusi Association website (www.watusi.org). If so do you have any story you would like to share with us? Cindi Darling”
“Hi Yes no problem. The fotos were taken in Western Tanzania. Unfortunately because of medicines and vaccines and poisoning of natural predators the herds are getting to big and they are being taken into the National parks and Game reserves to graze and now the herds men r poaching the wildlife. Very sad. Fotos were taken just outside Kigosi game reserve. It also seems they r immune to the tsetse fly carried sleeping sickness or Nagana as I know it.”
The photo was taken in 1998 or thereabouts within the Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda. At that time there were many such beautiful herds but they are increasingly rare outside the ranches of the Bahima elite. The majority are unable to continue to keep such herds because they are settled on small plots of land, with limited water and need to earn revenue for school fees and such like from milk. The majority are therefore cross breeding with exotic breeds to increase milk and meat production.
Tribesmen in Africa have a close relationship with their cattle.
The number of head and the quality of the animals defines social status in the tribe. Herdsman spend a large percentage of their time with their livestock.
The World Watusi Association receives forwarded photographs from time to time from various members. We will be posting a variety of those received that reflect the background in Africa of the Watusi Ankole cattle. We do want to extend a special thank you to the hard work in collecting and forwarding these great items to all that send them in. We have a particular thank you for Rodney Barnhart, Alex Geremia and Darol Dickinson for their contributions.
The World Watusi Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and advancement of African Ankole- Watusi cattle.