Is This a 3-Horned Ankole Cow in Uganda?

Ankole cattle are known for their over-sized horns.

  • Published 31 December 2019

Claim

A video shows a three-horned ankole cow in Uganda.

Rating

Origin

On Dec. 28, 2019, a video supposedly showing a cow in Uganda with three large horns was widely circulated on social media:

But we have been unable to definitively authenticate or debunk this footage. 

The above-displayed video was posted by a Twitter user claiming to be a cattle keeper in Uganda but isn’t the original source of the footage. The user (@RubabindaJR) told us the original footage was encountered on WhatsApp, but we have been unable to find that iteration of the footage, or any others, that predate the user’s December post.

Without the source video, it’s difficult to glean details about where and when this video was shot, or with what intent it was originally shared. Rather, we can only judge this footage based on what we can see, and to our eyes, this video looks a bit suspicious. 

For instance, around the six-second mark of the above-displayed video, as the middle horn passes over a tree in the background, it appears the superfluous horn changes texture and size and becomes briefly transparent. We slowed down that moment in the gif below:

However, this isn’t definitive proof that the footage is fake. As we noted earlier, the tweet that went viral in December 2019 did not contain the original footage, and it appears some degradation in the quality of the video occurred since it was originally uploaded. The low quality of this footage might explain some of the odd artifacts.

While we’re not entirely sure if this video is real, three-horned cows certainly do exist. In 2018, a video showing such a cow in Brazil went viral. In 2016, some photos showed a three-horned cow in India. 

So while three-horn cows do exist, we’re not entirely sure if the video that went viral in December 2019 is authentic. We will update this article if more information becomes available.