Three banteng calves born at Hellabrunn Zoo
They chase each other playfully, jump around and dart back to forth: Hellabrunn Zoo's three newly born calves romp around in the banteng enclosure. The calves belong to a highly endangered species of Asian wild cattle that can only be seen at five zoos in Germany.
The new calves are: Ornella, a shy, playful banteng girl (born 23 May), who tends to run to the zookeeper whenever called; always close by is her cocky half-brother Oskar, who was born on 25 March. Oskar is quite strong and sturdy. Ochiba, the youngest (born 6 July), tries to join in all the fun and games with his siblings, but she is by far the smallest in banteng kindergarten and therefore always somewhat slower than her two playmates.
Even though completely different in character, the three banteng calves are half-siblings. The father of Oskar, Ornella and Ochiba is the banteng bull Rahul. In 2013, Rahul successfully made three banteng cows pregnant: Oskar's mama is called Buffy (12 years), Ornella's mama is Gina (8 years), and Ochiba is the daughter of Dorle (16 years).
Zoo director Rasem Baban is delighted with the three newborn calves: "Rahul, the father of the three little bantengs, who is only two and a half year old, has become well integrated into the group since arriving at Hellabrunn in February 2013 from Dresden Zoo, and has successfully impregnated three banteng cows. The breeding of animals such as the banteng in zoos is of great importance for the preservation of the species, particularly as the banteng is endangered in the wild."
Born in 2014, the banteng calves have been given names beginning with the letter "O" in accordance with all animals born at Hellebrunn Zoo this year. The five-month-old banteng boy Oskar, three-month-old Ornella and one-and-a-half-month-old Ochiba enjoy a diet of mother’s milk, supplemented by concentrated feed and hay. The three little ones drink about five times a day from their mothers Buffy (Oskar), Gina (Ornella) and Dorle (Ochiba). Bantengs reach sexual maturity at about two years. The banteng cows have each given birth to one calf that will suckle for around nine months. The banteng group at Hellabrunn Zoo comprises ten animals: seven females and three males.