Water buffaloes return to wetlands

Water buffaloes return to wetlands

Water buffaloes taken away from the Thale Noi wetlands in Phatthalung when they were flooded recently are returning to their homes now the floods are receding. (Photos by Apinya Wipatayotin)
Water buffaloes taken away from the Thale Noi wetlands in Phatthalung when they were flooded recently are returning to their homes now the floods are receding. (Photos by Apinya Wipatayotin)

Hundreds of water buffaloes taken away from flooded Thale Noi wetlands in the southern province two months ago will now return to their homes due to receding water levels.

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Water buffaloes return to wetlands

Apinya Wipatayotin

Phatthalung: Hundreds of water buffaloes taken away from flooded Thale Noi wetlands in the southern province two months ago will now return to their homes due to receding water levels.

Thale Noi, one of the country's largest wetlands covering Phatthalung, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Songkhla, is home to almost 3,000 water buffaloes.

After heavy rains triggered flood waters which hit Phatthalung two months ago, the owners of these animals moved them out of the flooded area to higher ground.

Somyot Kapuak, who feeds 12 buffaloes, said he moved his cattle from Thale Noi wetlands to stay at Thale Noi non-hunting area nearby in Khuan Khanun district due to the heavy floods.

Mr Somyot said his animals did not have dry grass to eat and dry land to live on due to the floods. Without these, his animals would not be in good health.

Now the flood waters have receded, he has moved them back to Thale Noi wetland so they can stay in a familiar place.

"I moved them back to eat grass at Thale Noi. I lost one buffalo to illness as it had stayed for too long in the water. Many more would have died if I had not moved them out of the water in time," he said.

Like Mr Somyot, other farmers at Thale Noi wetlands are now bringing their water buffalo back, as it is a bountiful source of food for them.

Buffaloes usually enjoy wading in water to find grass in wetlands. The owners let them roam about freely there during the dry season and move them back to land in the rainy season.

However, heavy rains and flooding this year resulted in a shortage of dry land.

The Department of Livestock was in charge of finding dry areas to place the evacuated animals.

Many agencies worked together with locals to quickly move the buffaloes out of the wetlands, racing against time as water levels quickly increased.

However, the department denied media reports that at least 30 water buffaloes drowned during the evacuation, insisting that they died from illness.

Narong Suttisung, the provincial livestock chief in Phatthalung, said 184 of 2,300 water buffaloes living in Thale Noi died of illness, of which eight died of babesiosis, a rare but fatal tick-borne disease usually found in cows. This is the first time it was found in buffaloes.

The water buffalo is important for locals living near wetlands as it generates at least 200,000 baht per year per family.

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Vocabulary

  • agency (noun): a government department that provides a particular service - หน่วยงานราชการ
  • borne: carried - ถือ หรือนำไป (อัญเชิญ  ประดิษฐาน)
  • bountiful: large in amount; abundant - อุดม, สมบูรณ์,
  • cattle: cows and bulls that are kept as farm animals for their milk or meat - วัวควาย
  • chief: a person with a high rank or the highest rank in a company or an organisation - หัวหน้า, ผู้นำ
  • denied (verb): said that something is not true or did not happen - ปฏิเสธ
  • disease (noun): a health problem and problem with a person's body, often caused by an infection, either from a bacteria or virus - โรค
  • drown: to sink under water and die - จมน้ำ
  • due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
  • evacuate: to cause to leave a place because it is not safe - เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
  • evacuation: moving people from a place of danger to a safer place - การอพยพ
  • familiar: well known to you, or easily recognised by you - คุ้นเคย
  • fatal: causing someone to die - ถึงตาย
  • flood (verb): to cover with water or another liquid - ท่วม
  • generate: to produce - ก่อให้เกิด
  • illness (noun): the state of being physically or mentally ill - ความเจ็บป่วย, ความเจ็บไข้
  • in charge of: to be in control of an activity and to check that everything is being done correctly - ดูแล ควบคุม
  • insist: to keep saying very firmly that something is true, even when other people will not believe you - ยืนกราน
  • level: the amount of liquid that there is in a container, river, dam, etc., which can be seen by how high the liquid is - ระดับ
  • livestock: animals such as cows, sheep, chickens and pigs that are kept on farms - ปศุสัตว์
  • locals: people who live in a particular place - ชาวบ้าน
  • media: radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group - สื่อ
  • provincial (adj): related to "provinces" , the different parts of a country - ประจำจังหวัด, ส่วนท้องถิ่น
  • rare: not happening very often - เกิดขึ้นได้ยาก
  • recede: to move back; to move further away into the distance; subside - ลดลง, ถอยหลัง
  • roam: to move or travel around in no particular direction - เดินทางท่องเที่ยวโดยปราศจากจุดหมาย
  • shortage (noun): when there is not enough of something - การขาดแคลน
  • source: the place something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something - แหล่ง, แหล่งกำเนิด
  • tick (noun): a very small creature that bites humans and animals and sucks their blood. There are several types of tick, some of which can carry diseases - แมลงดูดกินเลือดเป็นอาหาร เช่น หมัด ไร เห็บ
  • trigger: to cause - ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น
  • wade: to walk with an effort through something, especially water or mud - ลุย เดินท่องน้ำ หรือ โคลน
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