Monday, 10 May 2010
In the Jungle...Asian Water Buffalo
Welcome to the Tropical Jungle in Chiang Mai, Thai city located in the North of the Kingdom of Siam...today I would like to introduce to my new two friends... Mr. Thae and Mr.Tong, two of them Asian Water Buffaloes...the Most special is Mr. Thae, because he was born without color in hes pigmentation, he is one of the few Buffaloes Alvine (Bufalo Alvino) in the world. The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a large bovine animal, frequently used as livestock in southern Asia, and also widely in South America, southern Europe, north Africa, and elsewhere..In 2000, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that there were approximately 158 million water buffalo in the world and that 97% of them (approximately 153 million animals) were in Asia. There are established feral populations in northern Australia but the dwindling true wild populations are thought to survive in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand.
All the domestic varieties and breeds descend from one common ancestor, the Wild Water Buffalo, which is now an endangered species.
The domestic Water Buffalo, although derived from the Wild Water Buffalo, is the product of thousands of years of selective breeding in either South Asia or Southeast Asia
Buffalo are used as draft, meat, and dairy animals. Their dung is used as a fertilizer and as a fuel when dried. In Chonburi, Thailand, Pakistan and in South western region of Karnataka, India, there are annual water buffalo races known as Kambala.
A few have also found use as pack animals carrying loads even for special forces.
American bison are known as buffalo in parts of North America, but not normally in other usages; bison are more closely related to cattle, gaur, banteng, and yaks than to Asian buffalo. The water buffalo genus includes water buffalo, tamaraw and anoas—all Asian species. The ancestry of the African buffalo is unclear, but it is not believed to be closely related to the water buffalo.
Adult Water Buffalo range in size from 400 to 900 kg (880 to 2,000 lb) for the domestic breeds, while the wild animals are nearly 3 m (9.8 ft) long and 2 m (6.6 ft) tall, weighing up to 1,200 kg (2,600 lb); females are about two-thirds this size.
River buffalo are usually black and have long curled horns, whereas swamp buffalo can be black or white, or both, with gently curved horns. The largest recorded horns are just under 2 metres long.
Asia is the native home of the water buffalo, with 95% of the world population of water buffalo, with about half of the total in India. Many Asian countries depend on the water buffalo as its primary bovine species. It is valuable for its meat and milk as well as the labour it performs. As of 1992 the Asian population was estimated at 141 million. The fat content of buffalo milk is the highest amongst farm animals and the butterfat is a major source of ghee in some Asian countries.
Its success in Asia is evident by its extensive range. Both variants occur in Asia. River buffalo are found in elevations of 2,800 m in Nepal, and swamp buffalo are found throughout the lowland tropics.
Water buffalo have been domesticated for 5,000 years and have become economically important animals. They provide more than 5% of the world’s milk supply and 20% to 30% of the farm power in Southeast Asia.
The water buffalo has promise as a major source of meat, even the milking ones. The water buffalo also is the classic work animal in Asia, an integral part of that continent’s traditional village farming structure and also used for hauling cotton, pumping water in Pakistan and hauling logs in Turkey. The domesticated water buffalo is often referred to as “the living tractor of the East” as it is relied upon for plowing and transportation in many parts of Asia.