You certainly can’t miss a water buffalo sighting in Southeast Asia. As important as cattle in other parts of the world, these bovines play an important role in the farmer’s lives. Not only are they valuable as a livestock animal, they are also used as a working animal and are consumable, whether it’d be for their meat or milk. Their dung is also quite useful as fertilizer and can be used as fuel when dried. You’ll never look at the water buffalo the same way again!
Believe it or not,there are more uses for the water buffalo. Their horns and bones are quite useful materials for the making of musical instruments and jewelry. Their hide is quite tough and proves to be good material for shoes, leather products and even motorcycle helmets.
Most, if not all the water buffalos you’ll come across are domesticated animals. All are derived from the same common ancestor, the Wild Water Buffalo, itself now an endangered species in the wild. Asia is the native home of the water buffalo, with 95% of the world’s population residing in the continent. You may have also noticed that these guys can be quite huge. Adults can weigh anywhere between 400 to 900 kilograms. Their black hide and curled horns truly stand out from other bovines.
Why are the water buffalos so valuable? Well, it’s mainly because of their ability to live off poor foodstuffs. They are also highly adaptable to a variety of environments (some can live almost 3,000 meters above sea level). These guys can also do a whole bunch of tasks. They can haul log, they can plough fields and are even used as a means of transportation. Speaking of ploughing the fields, they are better suited to walk the swamps and muddy paddy fields than your regular cattle. Because of all these traits, they truly have earned their nickname as the living tractor of the East.
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