|The Banteng (Bos javanicus), also known as Tembadau, is a species of wild cattle found in Southeast Asia. Banteng have been domesticated in several places in Southeast Asia, and there are around 1.5 million domestic Banteng, which are called Bali cattle. These animals are used as working animals, and for their meat.
Bali cattle have also been introduced to Northern Australia, where they live wild.
Distribution and subspecies
* Java Banteng (B. j. javanicus): Java; Males are black, females buff.
* Borneo Banteng (B. j. lowi): Borneo; Smaller than Java Banteng and the horns are steeper, bulls are chocolate-brown.
* Burma Banteng (B. j. birmanicus): Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam; Males and females are usually buff, but in Cambodia 20 % of the bulls are blackish, and on the Malayan Peninsula in Thailand most of the bulls are black. This subspecies is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.
The banteng is similar in size to domestic cattle, being 1.55 to 1.65 m (61 to 65 in) tall at the shoulder, and weighing 600 to 800 kg (1,300 to 1,800 lb). It exhibits sexual dimorphism, allowing the sexes to be readily distinguished by colour and size. In mature males, the short-haired coat is blue-black or dark chestnut in colour, while in females and young it is chestnut, with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, and white spots above the eyes. The build is similar to that of domestic cattle, but with a rather slender neck and small head, and a ridge on the back above the shoulders. The horns of females are short and tightly curved, pointing inward at the tips, and those of males arc upwards, growing 60 to 75 cm (24 to 30 in) long, and being connected by a horn-like bald patch on the forehead.
Banteng live in sparse forest where they feed on grasses, bamboo, fruit, leaves and young branches. The Banteng is generally active both night and day but in places where humans are common they adopt a nocturnal schedule. Banteng tend to gather in herds of two to thirty members.
The Banteng is the second endangered species to be successfully cloned, and the first to survive for more than a week (the first was a Gaur that died two days after being born). Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, MA, U.S. extracted DNA from Banteng cells kept in the San Diego Zoo's "Frozen Zoo" facility, and transferred it into eggs from domestic cattle, a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer. 30 embryos were created, sent to Trans Ova Genetics, which implanted the fertilized eggs in domestic cattle. Two were carried to term and delivered by caesarian section. The first was born on April 1, 2003, and the second two days later. The second was euthanized, but the first survived and, as of September 2006, remains in good health at the San Diego Zoo