Waldor the 1110 kg Romagnola bull was the centre of attraction again at the recent Agri Mega Week in Bredasdorp. The four-year-old behemoth was surrounded by people wanting to pet him. A photo taken a year ago of Waldor nestling against young Carli van Zyl (6) from Heidelberg also surfaced in the media.
This year, the youngster who lost her heart to the gentle giant could not make it to the agricultural show as she had to be at school. And so she did not get to see Waldor, who was now even bigger. According to his owner Willem Wagener from Graaff-Reinet, “He’s bigger and more handsome than last year.” And he had something extra with him. The 3-month-old 171 kg bull calf that Waldor sired with lovely Olivia was also at the show.
Romagnola bulls love humans
What is it about these bulls that attract people so much to them? Last year Carli couldn’t wait for the gate of the bullpen to be opened but crawled underneath it to get to Waldor, who promptly put his head in her lap. Wagener says proudly, “Waldor is a gentle giant, an aristocrat. Romagnola bulls love humans and attention.” The bulls have a 2000 year long history. They were introduced into Italy by invading Goths. The powerful bulls were put to work on farms and during war-time. They crossed the Alps, that’s where their immense physical strength comes from, Willem says.
Not destined for the pot
These bulls are not destined for the pot. “Waldor’s grandfather is retired in Jeffreys Bay,” Willem says. “I did not want to let him go but a man begged to have him. Waldor’s father died of natural causes. Waldor won’t land up in the pot. These bulls live out their natural lives and get proper burials.”