Animal Genetic Resources
International Livestock Research Institute
PO Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
General Breed Information
Breed Name/Strain :
Baharie, Bare, Borrie, Boundouma, Dongole, Kouburi, Buduma, White Lake Chad, Boenca, Boyenca
Breed Group Name:
Until a recent molecular genetic study on present-day Africa cattle (Hanotte et al., 2002) revealed that the earliest cattle (Bos taurus) originated within the African continent, the widely accepted theory had been that this group of Humpless (Bos taurus) Hametic Longhorn cattle breeds have descended from the first domesticated cattle populations of the Humpless Hamitic Longhorn cattle in the region so-called the 'Fertile Crescent', possibly 9000 BP (Payne and Hodges, 1997); these were said to be the first cattle to be introduced to Africa across the land connection with Asia by nomadic people and have spread to the west and south of Egypt. However, archaeological findings led to the new theory that there was an African centre of domestication in the Sahara from southern Libya and north-western Niger to southern Egypt (MacDonald, 2000). Further genetic studies also suggested that the present-day humpless cattle populations are so divergent from similar cattle populations of Europe that separate domestication could have occurred in Africa (Bradley and Loftus, 2000). This was supported by the genetic evidence from Hanotte et al. (2002), which also indicated an exogenous but minor genetic influence of non-African origin from Europe and /or Near East in the breeds of north and northeast of Africa as well as localised areas of southern Africa. These African taurine cattle were also influenced by a slow genetic introgression by the zebu cattle (Bos indicus) of Asian origin. There are now convincing genetic and archaelogical evidences for the domestication within Africa of these African taurine cattle breeds. The Humpless Longhorn group of cattle breeds are at present represented by two breeds - the N'Dama and the Kuri, though the two breeds are quite distinct in their morphology (Rege and Tawah, 1999).
Breed Origin :
The origin is obscure and uncertain. One theory considers the Kuri as a pure Hamitic Longhorn, which descended from the ancient Egyptian or Hamitic Longhorn as depicted in the Egyptian drawings.The Kuri probably branched off the stream of the Hamitic Longhorn on its north-westerly passage from Egypt and migrated south-west ward through the Sahara corridor to Lake Chad. Another theory considers the Kuri to be of the Sanga (Bos indicus x Bos taurus) type that originated from the intermixture of lateral-horned zebu and the hamitic longhorn in upper Egypt and present day Ethiopia.
The Kuri predominates on the shores and islands of Lake Chad, which borders with Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Its main habitat is in southern Chad and north-eastern Nigeria but they are also found in northern Cameroon, in the N'Guigmi province of Nigeria and to a limited extent, in the Central African Republic and south west of Ethiopia.
They are excellent swimmers, a characteristic they need to survive in their environment. Kuri animals are intolerant to heat and sunlight and are unable to stand extended periods of drought. Consequently, they are fond of wallowing in water and spend a considerable part of the day immersed in the lake water with only the nostrils lifted above the surface.