The fabulous destiny of a buffalo with third horn

By Kim Thuy   April 6, 2016 | 02:07 am PT
The fabulous destiny of a buffalo with third horn
The bizarre animal with its nanny. Photo: Cuu Long
Unlike a normal buffalo, whose main job is to toil away in the field, the buffalo with three horns has led a leisure life as a pet with a nanny particularly hired to take care of him - something an average kid can only dream of.

Every morning, Tran Van Moi, nanny of the 6-year-old buffalo would get up early to take the animal for a walk for some fresh air before the animal has its breakfast. Though the vast farm in the southern province of Ben Tre has grass everywhere, the buffalo only has meals at some spots with lush grass and puddles of fresh water nearby. The nanny's task is to find those ideal places so that the animal does not need to move for some drink after it finishes the meals.

Though the job of the nanny might sound simple, Pham Van Hai, the owner, made the recruitment of the nanny a tough process in which he only accepted his close acquaintances who he has observed as having genuine love for animals.

Thanks to the costly care from the owner, the pampered buffalo is quite fat, weighing about 700 kilograms, while buffalo raised for meat would normally weigh between 400 and 500 kilograms.“My 'boy' is not demanding in eating at all and I feel really proud of its weight,” said Hai.

A swift decision to buy the expensive buffalo

Hai bought the buffalo four years ago from some ethnic group in a separate forest in the north of Cambodia. The strange look of the animal immediately popped his eyes.

Hai decided to pour VND74 million ($3,300) to buy the buffalo though he had to borrow money from friends and relatives. “It was a huge amount of money that I could not afford at that time. With VND74 million, I could buy about five big buffalos. But I made the decision without hesitation,”

“To me, there are three kinds of animals: ugly, good-looking and unique ones. The third one is worth buying regardless of the price. I believe that there cannot be a second buffalo with three horns in the region,” Hai said.

It is not luck, but pleasure

Many city residents thought he was a holy buffalo, and knelt in front of him to pray for health, happiness and wealth. They also offered him delicious food that is normally only prepared for ritual offerings.

Convinced his buffalo was not holy and not liking all the fuss, two years ago, Hai moved his buffalo to a spacious farm near Thanh Phu beach, far away from the city with fewer curious eyes. “Many think that unusual animals would bring luck and prosperity to its owner. But I do not expect that. I treasure my 'boy' simply because its weird look brings something new to my life,” Hai said.

Last year, as persuaded by organizing board of a local festival, Hai decided to get the buffalo to show off its strange look and drew huge crowds. There were apparently offers of up to VND150 million to buy the animal but Hai turned them down. “I can make money but I cannot make another special buffalo like this,” said Hai.


Photo: Cuu Long

To make up for his lack of time with the buffalo over the past years, Hai has decided to build the animal a spacious private home in the city behind his family's house, “so that the buffalo can enjoy better living conditions.”

Though this may cost him quite a large sum of money, but it does not matter as long as he finds it is good for the buffalo. “My 'boy' deserves that,” Hai said.

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