Hong Kong set to celebrate Year of Ox with focus on wild bovines | Trending - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Hong Kong set to celebrate Year of Ox with focus on wild bovines

AP |
Feb 09, 2021 12:49 PM IST

Ho Loy of the Lantau Buffalo Association and her team of volunteers dedicate most weekends to checking on the cattle that roam the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong

The Chinese Year of the Ox begins Friday, and in the shadow of Hong Kong's futuristic urban skyline, wild bovines are getting some love.

Cows and buffalos eat grass at Lantau island, the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. The Chinese Year of the Ox begins Friday, Feb. 12, and in the shadow of Hong Kong's futuristic urban skyline, wild bovines are getting some love. Ho Loy of the Lantau Buffalo Association and her team of volunteers dedicate most weekends to checking on the cattle that roam the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. (AP)
Cows and buffalos eat grass at Lantau island, the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. The Chinese Year of the Ox begins Friday, Feb. 12, and in the shadow of Hong Kong's futuristic urban skyline, wild bovines are getting some love. Ho Loy of the Lantau Buffalo Association and her team of volunteers dedicate most weekends to checking on the cattle that roam the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. (AP)

Cattle and water buffalo embody hard work and serenity in the 12-animal Chinese zodiac, and were used on Hong Kong farms for centuries to plough rice fields, pull carts and provide milk and meat. But as farms began to shut down in the the 1970s, many animals were abandoned and their descendants became the wild cattle and buffalos now commonly seen in rural Hong Kong.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

Ho Loy of the Lantau Buffalo Association and her team of volunteers dedicate most weekends to checking on the cattle that roam the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. Starting mid-morning they distribute grass and hay bought with donated funds to different herds around the island.

“The animals are a very important part of our culture, of our city planning, especially rural planning," Ho said. The animals provide an opportunity to explore “what that means to Hong Kong people about the nature, the remaining nature value in Hong Kong.”

Ho Loy, chairwoman of the Lantau Buffalo Association, brings grass for cattle and buffalos at Lantau island, the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. The Chinese Year of the Ox begins Friday, Feb. 12, and in the shadow of Hong Kong's futuristic urban skyline, wild bovines are getting some love. Ho and her team of volunteers dedicate most weekends to checking on the cattle that roam the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. (AP)
Ho Loy, chairwoman of the Lantau Buffalo Association, brings grass for cattle and buffalos at Lantau island, the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. The Chinese Year of the Ox begins Friday, Feb. 12, and in the shadow of Hong Kong's futuristic urban skyline, wild bovines are getting some love. Ho and her team of volunteers dedicate most weekends to checking on the cattle that roam the biggest island within the territory of Hong Kong. (AP)

Hong Kong's Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department estimates there are approximately 1,100 brown cattle and 120 water buffalo distributed across Hong Kong's Lantau Island and rural parts of the New Territories near the border with China.

The Lantau Buffalo Association hopes to preserve the animals and their habitat, reduce friction with growing human communities and lobby for long-term environmental preservation policies.

While Hong Kong is best known for its neon-lit, densely-packed urban environment, more than three-quarters of the southern Chinese territory of 7.5 million people remains green hills and forests.

Over her 14 years of caring for the animals, Ho, a Lantau resident herself, has come to know them well. Water buffalo are “very shy, they spend most of the time in the wetland. So, preserving the wetland is one thing will help them to live healthy,” she said.

Cattle, on the other hand, are very sociable, especially if you have food.

“They will come and get your food and they are not scared of humans,” Ho said.

Fiona Woodhouse of the Hong Kong Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the welfare of wildlife speaks to the overall health of Hong Kong's environment and cultural heritage.

“So, we need to ensure their welfare as much as possible and look at what we’re doing in Hong Kong to see how it impacts those animals and their ability to survive and live safely in Hong Kong,” Woodhouse said.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much more. Explore now! : The Big Picture', a fresh segment in HT's talk show 'The Interview with Kumkum Chadha', where leaders across the political spectrum discuss the upcoming general elections. Watch Now!
Get Latest Updates on Trending News Viral News, Video, Photos and Weather Updates of India and around the world
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, May 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On