Big beasts are happiest when living a quiet life

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 June, 2011, 12:00am


Buffalo husbandry in China has a 4,000-year history.

Hong Kong's buffaloes are descended from wild beasts that came originally from India. They have long horns, thick smooth hides and wide-splayed, hoofed feet.

Buffaloes are intelligent and not difficult to tame, but are naturally timid and startle easily. They must be handled quietly and calmly.

Cattle and buffaloes will co-exist satisfactorily. They normally segregate into their own groups and do not interfere with one another.

Adult water buffaloes range in size from 400kg to 900kg.

The latest estimates put the world population of water buffalo at around 150 million in 50 countries.

Over the years, Chinese farmers have 'toilet- trained' buffaloes to defecate only at specific sites to avoid contaminating waterways that are important for domestic uses.