The animals

The aurochs


Also called the "primitive ox" or "oxen of the plain", the aurochs is the ancestor of all the bovidae. Once widespread in Europe, it lived in the plains and at the forest's edge.

It became extinct in Poland in 1623. A German zoologist has "recreated" the breed by crossing cattle from the Camargue, Corsica, Spain and Great Britain.

This massive and strong breed has a dark coat with a light stripe down the spine. It has long lyre-shaped horns.

It enjoys sounds health and lives to be at least 20 years old. An adult male weighs up to 900 kg. The aurochs is a herbivore and also eats buds, young leaves, branches and some kinds of bark.

There is no particular time for the rut. After gestation lasting 284 days, the cow gives birth to a calf which is soon able to join the rest of the herd.