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Offbeat Neighbourhood

Not long ago a new inhabitant arrived to the spacious and comfortable enclosure of Black Swans. This new inhabitant was a water buffalo female. The hosts welcomed their new neighbour quite readily. Several centuries ago this neighbourhood would seem quite strange. In wild nature black swans inhabit Australia, water buffalos inhabit tropical forests and jungles of Asia. But humans who judged themselves to be masters of live nature, brought water buffalos to Australia. Thus black swans and water buffalos compose a typical image of Australian landscape. Water buffalos have been domesticated long ago. Domesticated water buffalos have inherited unpretentiousness in diet and husbandry demands as well as peaceful nature. These features allowed to use water buffalos as docile pulling power and to disseminate them all round the world. Domesticated water buffalos can be met in Eastern Africa, in Southern America, in Eastern and Southern Europe, in Madagascar and in Australia. Sometimes water buffalos leave their homes and  run wild and get their wild naure back. When wild water buffalos inroad Australian farms it is equal to locust pester. Though, "hooved locust" weighs about a ton.

 

In natural habitat egrets are water buffalos' neighbours, they share water pools with them. Water is vital for water buffalos. It moisturizes, it saves animals from insects and parasites, it brings food  while water plants is the major diet component. Water buffalos love grazing, too.

Watching our young water buffalo female that looks quite small comparing to her compatriots that live next door - massive and stately gayals - it is hard to believe that water buffalo is one of the biggest buffalo species in the world. Their height is up to 180 cm, males weigh up to 1 ton.

This is how a nook of Australian modern nature appeared in Kharkov Zoo. Graceful swans glide the water, young buffalo female saunters along reed-grown banks of her new pond, takes a rest in the shadow of branchy trees, enjoys cool water of the pond. 

By the way, one can meet wild water buffalos near Carpathian mountains where they live since the times of Österreich-Ungarn empire. It is hard to believe that these animals continued to live in Khustov region of Ukraine until the middle of XXth century. In 1970 these animals were attended by farmers who let them out grazing by Tisa banks. Water is quite cold there and it was harmful for their health, that's why the majority of them died. At present there has been created a nusresy farm in Steblivka village that keeps a group of 30 water buffalos. Same wild water buffalo groups inhabit Balaton lake in Hungary. 

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