Wild Cows?

Is there such a thing as a wild cow? All the domestic animals I can think of have counterparts in the wild: horses, sheep, pigs, cats, dogs. But what about cows? When did the last wild cows disappear?


I don’t know if any Texas longhorns are still wild, but, IIRC, they were at one time.

There may not be any wild cows, per se, but there are wild bovines – water buffalo, for example. Some people believe the domestic cow is descended from the auroch, now extinct.


p.s This looks like a job for TheCowGodMoo.

p.p.s. The cow is the only animals where, in English, the name of the female is the generic name for the species.

p.p.p.s. The archaic plural, kine is the only case where the plural form of the word has no letters in common with the singular form.

“Vandelay!! Say Vandelay!!”

Domestic cattle are believed to be descended from the aurochs (“ur-ox”) or urus, which, IIRC, became extinct in the 17th century CE.

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”


If I were you, pluto, I’d duck after making that comment. Someone is liable to goose you. However, you are obviously not chicken. I would guess that far more people talk about male and female peacocks than take the time to refer to peafowl and peahens.

You may get away with your statement if you limit it to mammals, but birds are included in the category “animals.” (There may also be other mammals that violate your statement, but I will admit that none come to my mind, immediately.)


Tom, don’t get a bee in your bonnet.

La franchise ne consiste pas à dire tout ce que l’on pense, mais à penser tout ce que l’on dit.
H. de Livry

Pluto said:
“I don’t know if any Texas longhorns are still wild, but, IIRC, they were at one time.”

Nitpick here: Longhorns were feral, not wild. That is, they all decended from domesticated animals who had run off.

Tom – that’s what I get for entering a battle of wits only half-equipped.

Manda – I was aware of the distinction but thought it was within the scope of the question. Other feral animals include “wild” horses in the Americas and “wild” pigs in New Zealand, although true wild pigs and horses also exist.

[pontificating, maybe with better luck this time]
BTW, elephants are not domesticated in the usual sense. They are captured in the wild when they reach useful size. It’s too expensive to feed them from birth.

“Vandelay!! Say Vandelay!!”

Actually a pretty damn good question.

Feral is probably as good a term as any considering that virtually all breeds that I know of were at one time domesticated.

I’ll see if I can find a little more information on this.

Actually came across several sites for Saudi Arabia that claim that they have a species of wild cow.

Another site has a list of 900+ different types of cows as well as other information.


Feral vs. Wild. Hmmmmm. I know that a domesticated animal that is left to fend for itself might become feral, but if two feral animals mate, are their offspring feral or wild? If they are still considered feral, after how many generations would we call these animals wild agin?

They probably couldn’t be called wild again until they experienced some kind of genetic mutation distinguishing them form their dom. fellows.

“C’mon, it’s not even tomorrow yet…” - Rupert

If you need a graphic solution, http:\ alk.to\Piglet

I recall a PBS or National Geographic thingie showing how, using reverse-breeding techniques, some experimental biologists had crossed disparate strains of modern cattle until they ended up with something awfully close to the ancestral auroch. It has hard hooves, long greyish hair, wicked-looking horns.

Designated Optional Signature at Bottom of Post