beef + buffalo
Wikipedia tells us a beefalo is a fertile offspring of a domestic cattle (usually a male) and the American buffalo (or bison, usually a female), created to take advantage of the qualities of both animals. Buffalo meat is naturally lower in fat and cholesterol, higher in protein, and more tender and tastier than that of steers, and the animals are better able to tolerate the cold and have an easier time calving than domestic cattle.
Beefalo (source: Weller Innnovative Technologies)
A beefalo’s DNA is 3/8 bison; those animals with a higher percentage are considered cattalo. Conservation groups are critical of the practice of interbreeding cattle with bison, claiming that interbred animals are polluting the gene pool. Which might be true, although “Dr. Dirk Van Vuren, formerly of the University of Kansas… points out that ‘The bison today that carry cattle DNA look exactly like bison, function exactly like bison and in fact are bison.'”
How do you feel about this? It sounds as though the beefalo is a response to a need for meat that’s healthier and tastier, and that crossbreeding cattle and bison results in an animal that has certain desirable qualities. I can understand the concerns of conservation groups, who want to preserve the bison as it was, but it also sounds as though interbreeding is somewhat unavoidable, especially where cattle and bison share the same grazing fields.