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Ubre Blanca

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Ubre Blanca
BreedHolstein / Zebu hybrid
Cause of deathEuthanasia
Nation fromCuba
Known forHigh milk production

Ubre Blanca (c. 1972–1985) was a cow in Cuba known for her prodigious milk production. The cow, along with the "Cordón de La Habana" coffee plantations, the Voisin pasture system, and the microjet irrigation system, symbolized Fidel Castro's efforts to modernize Cuba's agricultural economy.[citation needed] The Spanish phrase ubre blanca translates to the English phrase "white udder."

Ubre Blanca produced 109.5 liters of milk on a single day in January 1982 – more than four times a typical cow's production. The cow also produced 24,268.9 liters of milk in one lactation period ending in February 1982.[1] Both feats were recognized by Guinness World Records as world records; either record wouldn't be beaten by another cow until after Ubre Blanca's death.[2][3] The cow was a cross between a Holstein and a zebu.[4]

Use in Cuban media[edit]

Castro referred to Ubre Blanca's prodigious output in speeches as evidence of communism's superior breeding skills, and the cow's achievements were often printed in Cuban newspapers.[5] To many Cubans, Ubre Blanca evokes memories of the era before the so-called "Special Period" – the economic collapse that followed the demise of the Soviet Union, Cuba's main benefactor, beginning in 1989.[citation needed]


In 1985, Ubre Blanca was euthanized around the age of 13 (the exact age is unknown).[6] The cow's death was commemorated by Communist Party newspaper Granma with a full obituary and eulogy. Taxidermists stuffed Ubre Blanca and put the body in a climate-controlled glass case at the entrance to the National Cattle Health Center, a 45-minute drive from old Havana, where it still remains. Ubre Blanca was honored by her hometown of Nueva Gerona, which erected a marble statue in memory of the cow.[7] Since the cow's death, Cuban scientists have unsuccessfully attempted to clone Ubre Blanca using frozen tissue samples.[1][4][8]


In the poem Ganadería, Cuban exile and poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa retells the story of Ubre Blanca as an allegory of Castro's rise to power.[9][failed verification]

They were educated men,
how could they not know what was coming?
How could they not save Ubre Blanca
from the endless speeches, the cameras, and the fist?

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Acosta, Dalia (14 October 2002). "Still a Dream to Clone Miracle Cow". Tierramerica. Archived from the original on 28 February 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  2. ^ Santos, J.E.P.; Bisinotto, R.S.; Ribeiro, E.S.; Lima, F.S.; Greco, L.F.; Staples, C.R.; Thatcher, W.W. "Applying nutrition and physiology to improve reproduction in dairy cattle" (PDF). agrilife.org. p. 2. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 March 2024. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  3. ^ "Brazil: Cow breaks world record for milk production". Dairy Global. 12 March 2020. Archived from the original on 2 September 2023. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  4. ^ a b Coman, Julia (22 June 2002). "Desperately short of milk, Cuba tries to resurrect a hero of the revolution". Archived from the original on 29 June 2023. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  5. ^ Funes Monzote, Reinaldo (25 February 2019). "Ubre Blanca and the Politics of Milk in Socialist Cuba". Oxford Research Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 19 March 2024. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  6. ^ "Productive Cuban Milk Cow Dead at 13". Los Angeles Times. 1 March 1985. Archived from the original on 29 June 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  7. ^ Karp, Myles (10 May 2018). "The History of Cuba's Ongoing Obsession with Ice Cream". Vice. Archived from the original on 6 March 2024. Retrieved 19 March 2024.
  8. ^ Fritsch, Peter; De Cordoba, Jose (21 May 2002). "Udderly Fantastic: Cuba Hopes To Clone Its Famous Milk Cow". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 5 May 2023. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  9. ^ Pau-Llosa, Ricardo. "Poetry Publications". pau-llosa.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2024.

External links[edit]