Water buffalo generally give the appearance of being placid – slow dull gentle giants. Bovine, even. 500+ kilos of docility.
But when they fight, they reveal quite a different dimension.
There’s a loud clashing of heads, a locking of horns, and then they use their thick muscular necks to try and overwhelm their opponents. And those phenomenal horns can (and do) inflict serious wounds.
It can go on for some minutes, with mud (and maybe some blood) flying as they collide.
Eventually one triumphs, and the vanquished buffalo runs away, closely pursued by the victor.
Any humans in the vicinity had best get out of the way!
At Sa’adan Ulusalu, Toraja Utara, Sulawesi Selatan
Toraja men (and boys) with their buffaloes.
Torajans greatly value their buffalo, and will pay high (indeed, quite extravagant) sums for a prestigious albino animal with particular auspicious markings.
Mass transit system, Toraja style.
Compact trucks like this are the almost ubiquitous means of moving large groups of people (and buffaloes, rocks, timber or whatever) around in Toraja, South Sulawesi.
And in fact they are really the only feasible option on the often steep winding corrugated narrow broken slippery roads and river crossings of the region.
High torque, cheap to run, simple to repair, small-ish turning circle, rugged high suspension – and fun to travel in too.
But perhaps not entirely safe…