“The water buffalo is one of the most widely used work animals in the world.” Says Leah Hagan, HEART Village’s Animal Manager.
For good reason too: water buffalos are strong enough to pull heavy loads, and can be milked to add to village nutrition.
Water Buffalo milk is rich in fat, which might sound like a negative in developed countries. But in places where calorie intake is low, high-fat milk can improve the quality of life for a lot of people.
For these reasons, HEART Village got a water buffalo named Beuford, in 2016.
His usefulness isn’t the only reason Beuford came to HEART though. He’s also a great way to introduce students to larger animals to give them positive animal experiences.
Goofy gentle Beuford spent a lot of time with our goat herd before we built his pen, and so he seems to love the goats, especially younger kids.
“He’s like uncle Beuford to them,” Leah says.
He’s also very friendly with people, and can be ridden, or if you aren’t afraid of some water buffalo slobber, he’ll lick your hands for the natural salts in our sweat.
Want to impress your friends with your water buffalo knowledge? Just remember, according to Phil Murphy, director of HEART Village, water buffalo milk is traditionally used to make authentic mozzarella cheese.
Beuford’s male though so, unfortunately, that means no traditional mozzarella for us yet. Even so, he’s a welcome addition to the HEART community.
Want to meet a water buffalo in person? Contact us to find out about visiting the HEART Village! Interested in going to the places where people rely on water buffalos? Call us at (863) 638-1188 to find out how to prepare for your next adventure!