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Maasai - cow - Kenya/Tanzania

(most common name in Tanzania)
(local/other name in Kenya)

(most common name):
Masai (Kenya)
(transboundary/brand name):
• Masai (Kenya)
• Tanganyika Shorthorn Zebu (TSHZ) (Tanzania)
(local/other name):
Maasai Grey (Tanzania)
also named (English):
• East African Shorthorned Zebu
• Kenyan Maasai
• Tanzanian Maasai

Maasai cattle are found in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. The spelling ‘Maasai’ is preferable because both Kenya and Tanzania use it for their cattle, as do the Maasai people, and most research references.

The Maasai is a Small East African Zebu.

The Maasai, in both Kenya and Tanzania, is kept by a Nilo-Hamitic tribe named Maasai whose life revolves around their cattle. It was during the 17th century that the Maasai people migrated into Kenya and settled south of Lake Turkana (formerly known as Lake Rudolf, located in the Kenyan Rift Valley and known both as the world’s largest permanent desert lake and largest alkaline lake).

The appearance of Maasai cattle can vary quite a bit mainly due to a centuries-old tradition of stealing cattle from other tribes. This activity increased dramatically after almost losing all of their cattle to rinderpest, famine, drought, smallpox and the jigger flea during the late 19th century. Maasai cattle mostly live under semi-arid climatic conditions and trek long distances in search of water due to inadequate supply.

Maasai - heifer calf - Kenya/Tanzania

This page was last updated on: 2019-12-16

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® Kenya and Tanzania and read about other Kenyan and Tanzanian cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.