Buffalos In The Mist
Nikkor 200-500/5.6 VR @320mm, f5.6, ISO 800, Nikon Z 6;
Early morning, pure wild water buffalo, Brahmaputra flood plain
India has done for animals more than any economically developed country both relatively and absolutely (*in everyday life, distinguishing outstanding merits, efforts in conservation). It shouldn’t make anyone complacent, not in the least, it just shows how low the bar has got.
Buffalo and aurochs are genera of Bovinae subfamily. The cattle (domesticated aurochs) lived alongside their wild forms for several thousand years, even just centuries ago, before the three subspecies of the widespread aurochs were wiped out. The genus includes species such as yak and gaur. Zebu and European cattle (plus their hybrids) are what’s left of the magnificent creature (not that these represent no value, quite the opposite). In European culture, the cattle became primarily an article of the meat industry where the element of ‘creature’ is lost along with the place and environment in which they were farmed.
The pivotal role of the large animals and their way of grazing/living for the natural landscape is becoming clear. Taurus project is now trying to restore the original features of the large herbivore from its domestic forms. Several European countries are participating in the efforts with the tangible results expected in a not so distant future. There is little doubt that anything they can do to revive the species original form is priceless work. This tends to be getting complicated with time.
We can see the wild water buffalo still in India today. It is, however, hard to guess whether the mist around the remaining small population is about to lift or become denser. Only to see enormous efforts of the next generations deployed later in an attempt to bring back a distant reflection of what is now standing in front of our eyes.