“I’ve been looking after the buffalos scattered across South Lantau for 15 years. Every day, I drive my car to different spots to visit the buffalos. Each herd knows exactly where to find me at a specific time, it’s like clockwork! I’ll feed them bags of hay, apples, oranges and pomelos. The buffalo community is very hierarchical. There’s always a ‘king buffalo’ in charge of an area and only females roam across different territories. If a male does so, then we are in for a fight! After I feed them, I’ll spend time with each of them to tend to any cuts or injuries. I’ll apply ointment on their wounds to prevent them from getting infected, and then I’ll sometimes give them a big cuddle! Buffalos are intelligent creatures - like this one here, Bruce. When Bruce was young, his tail was infected with worms, and he was looked after by a local doctor and a lovely German lady. So now Bruce understands German, English and Cantonese!
“I’m originally from Cheung Chau but moved to Lantau with my husband after we got married. He built us a house here which I still live in now. In 2007, an injured buffalo wandered to my house with a broken leg and I decided to look after him until he was healed. I named him Ngau Ngau and he is still with me to this day. I started to notice many more buffalos that were injured or dying around the area. So I took more of them under my wing, and gave each one a name. The locals are not fans of buffalos. A lot of people hit them with barbeque forks and farmers try to poison them to prevent them from eating crops and flowers. People also think that they’re dangerous to humans. But buffalos rarely hurt people for no reason. Usually they are either doing so in self-defence, or have misjudged the distance between them and the person. Buffalos can’t see clearly up close and don’t have good spatial awareness, so that can sometimes lead to accidents - especially when they are startled by noise. I’m not afraid of them at all! They are very gentle creatures and are often misunderstood.”
“The story of why there are buffalos in this area goes something like this. A butcher brought a couple of buffaloes from Kam Tin and was planning to butcher them for meat. But nobody was interested in eating buffalo meat…so he just let them loose! Looking after buffalos is not my full time job. I also work as a real estate agent around the Chi Ma Wan area, which means that I have quite a flexible schedule. A lot of people have expressed their interest in helping, but they are usually too scared to touch the buffalos or lack the patience to commit long term. I’m 70 years old and I am determined to continue doing this. When I was younger I was quite a soft, timid and passive girl. But I am a much stronger woman now, sometimes I can be like a dragon lady! The buffalos know that I care about them and am there to protect them - that’s why they’re always there waiting for me!”
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