In Hungary the domestic buffalo was until recently quite a common sight in agricultural areas; performing the usual tasks assigned to these animals -- pulling heavy loads, ploughing -- and giving milk.
In Hungary the domestic buffalo was until recently quite a common sight in agricultural areas; performing the usual tasks assigned to these animals -- pulling heavy loads, ploughing -- and giving milk. But with most farms now mechanised the buffalo's working life is finished -- but as it is part of Hungary's history efforts are being made to preserve at least one herd at a state farm.
SYNOPSIS: The buffalo reservation is about 30 kilometres (about 18 miles) from the town of Nagykanizsa in south western Hungary, close to the border with Yugoslavia. Over many years the herd has been built up to its present strength of 63 fine specimens -- ranging in age from mature beasts to new-born calves. The people in charge of the farm say that the buffalo is a very strong animal, but also very lazy. In fact in the wild they spend most of their time lying down or wallowing -- only grazing during the early hours of the morning or late evening. The Nagykanizsa herd is described as very peaceful and tame, however.
But that only goes for an average day. During calving time the buffalos become fiercely protective of their young and if disturbed will charge -- often pursuing their tormentors over a considerable distance. They are upset by sudden noise or colourful clothing and visitors to the farm are advised to stay at a distance when inspecting mother buffalos and their calves. Bull buffalos have also been known to join in the business of chasing off intruders when the young are at their most vulnerable. This 24-hour old baby cuff weighs 30 kilogrammes (about 66 pounds).
Despite being made redundant by machinery the buffalo still has a place in modern life. Its milk is very rich and is a welcome addition to man's diet in many countries.