Zebu, a humped animal of the cattle family, native to India. The zebu has a large, fatty hump over its shoulders; a large fold of skin, or dewlap, hanging from its throat; and large, drooping ears. Most zebus are ashy gray, but there are also white, red, brown, and black breeds. The mature animals of some strains are smaller than donkeys. Other strains are larger and cows may weigh 1,300 pounds (590 kg) or more and bulls, 1,800 pounds (820 kg). Zebus are not eaten in India, where they are considered sacred. They are used as dairy cattle. They are also ridden and are used to pull wagons and plows.
Zebus have been introduced into China, Indonesia, Africa, and the Americas. They yield fair cuts of beef and are much more resistant to ticks and heat than other breeds of cattle. In the United States, where they are called Brahman cattle, they have been bred with the shorthorn breed to produce the Santa Gertrudis breed, which produces good beef and resists ticks and heat.
The zebu is Bos indicus of the cattle family, Bovidae.