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Macaw16

Bull and Cow Chillingham White Cattle - 4 August 2016. Chillingham Wild Cat

Bull and Cow Chillingham White Cattle - 4 August 2016. Chillingham Wild Cat
Macaw16, 8 Aug 2016
    • Macaw16
      4 August 2016, at Chillingham Wild Cattle Park. A bull and cow, who seemed to be quite liking each other. These are perhaps the closest living cattle we have to Aurochs, these are still domestic cattle however. These are in the former hunting park of Chillingham Castle, where they have lived for over 800 years (no one knows how they ended up there though). In that time no cattle have been introduced to the herd so they are rather inbred, they were even reduced to only 13 individuals at one point, the herd currently numbers around 130 individuals (the exact numbers aren't known because the cattle aren't managed in any way). As they live wild it is quite interesting to watch them compared to other domestic cattle because the vocalisations and behaviors you see are rather different. These cattle can only be viewed form a walking tour with a park warden, which is a little scary considering the cattle are extremely dangerous! The natural colouration is completely white except a few spots on the head, the bulls however appear darker because they roll in mud.
    • gentle lemur
      Thank you for posting these photos. A visit to Chillingham is quite an experience. I heard the new warden speaking on the radio a couple of months ago, which reminded me about my visit some years ago, as your photos do. I must go back there one day.
      Your comment about the herd being rather inbred is a considerable understatement: which is one of the reasons why they are so interesting. Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists to wonder why they do not seem to have been badly affected by inbreeding - perhaps because the competition between the bulls allows some selection to take place, although he had evidence that they have become smaller over the years.

      Alan
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  • Category:
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    Uploaded By:
    Macaw16
    Date:
    8 Aug 2016
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