Friday, December 11, 2009

White Carabao Just Gave Birth!

White carabao -- albino water buffalo -- is not considered sacred like the white elephant. Back in the ricefields of Ma-ao, Bago City, this beast of burden, normally black in color still gets to work like everybody else.

It was a particularly lucky day when we arrived in Ma-ao and chanced upon this white carabao that just gave birth to a white carabao calf. Too bad we came just moments late from the actual giving birth.

As can be seen in the picture, the mother white carabao's birth canal is still oozing with fresh blood and placenta.

The interesting about the baby carabao is that, like baby horses and other babies of the same family, they can already stand on their wobbly feet to reach out to their mother's breasts.

Out in the fields, the carabao has a symbiotic partner, the tulabong (tu-LAH-bong) or egret, some hovering about, and some actually riding atop the carabao's back. It's an you-scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-your-back arrangement. The tulabong "scratches" the carabao's back by feeding on the flies pestering the carabao to its relief.

Carabaos have "birth certificates" called credentials, sort of like land titles showing the name of the owner. Instead of thumb marks distinguishing one person from the other, carabaos are identified by their unique nose prints.

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