The Banteng (Bos javanicus) is an ox that is found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Borneo, Java, and Bali. Some Banteng were introduced to Northern Australia during British colonization in 1849.
Banteng grow to about 1.6 metres at the shoulder and weigh 600-800 kilograms. Banteng have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump and whise patches around their eyes and muzzle, however there is considerable sexual dimorphism. Males have a blue-black or dark chestnut coat, long upward arching horns and a hump over the shoulders. Females, however, have a reddish brown coat, small horns, which point inwards at the tips and no hump.
Banteng live in sparse forest where they feed on grasses, bamboo, fruit, leaves and yound branches. The Banteng is generally active both at night and day time but in places where humans are common they adopt a nocturnal schedule. Banteng tend to gather in herds of two to thirty members.
Banteng have been domesticated in several places in Southeast Asia, and there are around 1.5 million domestic banteng. Domestic and wild banteng can mate and offspring are often fertile.
As of February 2005, the banteng population of the Cobourg Peninsula is 10,000 head, making the population in the Northern Territory the largest herd in the world. Before the study by Charles Darwin University it was believed that only 5,000 pure-strain banteng survived worldwide. In their native range the largest herd numbers less than 500 head.
Banteng thrive on Cobourg Peninsula from CDU Homepage
Last updated: 09-02-2005 16:52:30