Zoo Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo have been hand-rearing a male Banteng calf born in late August. The calf was rejected by his mother shortly after birth, and Keepers stepped in to raise him.
Hand raising a Banteng calf is very similar to raising a normal cow says Keeper Roger Brogen. “ At the beginning we fed him from a bottle up to 5 times a day, and now we have introduced him to a calf feeder.”
The calf feeder is positioned on a fence easily accessed by the calf; the feeder has a teat on the bottom so the calf can feed himself. When the calf learnt how to drink on its own he was successfully reintroduced to the Banteng herd.
The male calf continues receives daily milk feeds from his calf feeder and then quickly trots back to join his herd and his little herd mate, the female calf also born in August.
“One of the reasons we went to the bucket feeding is so he starts associating less with keepers enabling him to socialize and mix better with his herd,” said Keeper Roger.
Banteng are a wild cattle species from Asia, and are endangered. To see a video of the Banteng enjoying his daily milk, head to Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s facebook page.