Tama Raw? (Is that right?)

photo edited by friend

Mud!!! I quickly ran to the mud and wallowed myself into it. Oh, that hits the right spot. Those damn mosquitoes just have to keep biting me where I can’t scratch. “Mama, where are you ?!” Oh shit. I forgot I had a kid. I called out to my kid to where I’m currently at. Mother or not, this buffalo needs some pamper time. My 6 month old kiddo came running with her small, cute pudgy legs. She looked lost when she saw no one. I crept closer, biting a smile when she sat transfixed at my horns the only thing she can see from the mud getting closer. She let out a cute squeal when I jumped at her, splashing some mud. “Mama, why are you in the mud?” My little inquisitive Krista always curious about everything she sees. And so I told her that the mud helps in repelling the mosquitoes from biting us and it feels quite refreshing too! She let out a happy yell and quickly submerged herself in. I laughed at her happy childish ways.

Our bliss was broken when we heard some loud chatters. I climbed out the pool to see who was coming and cursed when I saw those gossiping cows (excuse my French) buffaloes coming near us.

“Oh. My. God. Is that Alma I see over there?! Hey girl! Its been some time since we last saw you. You are looking fabulous, although I see you kinda gained a lil weight on the hips and some wrinkles. But don’t worry girl, you look perfect. Now where is that little bundle of joy you brought out?”, fired off Janeth. Damn this girl can talk a thousand words per minute and won’t even feel if flies get in her mouth.

I greeted them all and called my little kiddo. She came up and stayed close to my legs, shy from the new strangers and attention from them.

“Oh Alma, she’s gorgeous! How long was the pregnancy?” I told them around 10 months, almost 310 days before I gave birth.

“You’re so lucky. But then you’re quite older than us. I’m still young. Just turned 6 the other month.”, stated Sheila proudly.

“Mama,” whispered Krista. “but she’s not 6. She’s 10 years old. Her horn shows it mama. You taught me that.” My baby makes me so damn proud!!!! I wanted to laugh out loud when they started staring at their horns awkwardly.

Sheila cleared her throat and gave us a sly stare which I was most familiar with. Which meant she was about to sign her death sentence as I prepared my hooves. “Well, how about that father of hers? Is he still around?”

They gave a loud shriek and quickly ran away when I charged them with my horns. “That’s right! You better run away you old hags. You ugly witches'! Sons of.. “

“Krista!” I stopped my daughter, looking at her shocked. Dear Lord, I better watch my mouth with this kid. I have to admit I was stung by Sheila’s words. But the males have never stuck around for long even after mating season. You meet, wam bam thank you mam, Bye!

However I am grateful to have a calf as I’ve heard our numbers of tamaraws have been decreasing greatly from lack of food with our forest getting replaced by human roads, not to mention poachers who takes our horns for collection or prizes. Thank goodness my kid and I are living now in a protected area from good people. Hopefully my kid can grow to show these humans that while we are not cut to be domestic buffaloes but we Tamaraws, have a place to be here on earth too and play an important role in helping to maintain balance in the forest and ecosystems.

“Come on Krista. Let’s go and look for some bamboo shoots. Think I know just the place for a good treat for you.”

General characteristics of water buffaloes are:

  • stand 5 to 6.2 feet tall at the shoulder
  • horns
  • white markings on legs, forehead and muzzle
  • walled eyes

Tamaraws, however, can only be found in Philippines. Standing at shoulder height of 0.95 to 1.2 m (1.64 to 3.94 ft), and about 2.20 m (7.22 ft) long, smaller next to the American bison (which can be as tall as 1.8 m or 5.91 ft), this is why Tamaraws are known as Mindoro dwarf buffalo.

My horn don’t lie. Yep, that’s right. As stated in the story above, this bovine animals where they like it or not, cannot lie about their age as their horn can be used against them if stated otherwise. Their horn is also what distinguish them from all buffaloes. They have short black horns in V-shaped. The horns have flat surfaces and are triangular at their base and are dark brown to grayish in color with white markings in the hooves and the inner lower forelegs.

Their numbers have greatly declined from an estimated 10,000 in 1900 to an estimate of 600 as of 2020. Making this species critically endangered in the world. This is mostly due to habitat loss due to deforestation for agriculture, logging, urbanization, hunting and poaching, and disease.

They can only be found specifically in Mindoro, Mounts Iglit-Baco Natural Park where they are being taken care of and raised. Mount Iglit-Baco National Park is a protected area of the Philippines and an ASEAN Heritage Park located in the island of Mindoro in central Philippines.

Sources:

https://animalia.bio/tamaraw
https://www.rewild.org/news/tamaraw-tales-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamaraw#:~:text=The%20tamaraw%20or%20Mindoro%20dwarf,the%20larger%20island%20of%20Luzon.

https://holizticvet.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/fun-fact-tamaraw/

www.buffalopedia.cirb.res.in

Hi! Welcome to my page. Where it’s all about 5% story and 95% blah blah blah in my head🧠💬💩. Stay sane everybody!