Blog: Fashion-struck water buffalos

Catherine Sleep | 23 July 2003

A new preference for brass neck bells is contributing to the demise of Thai water buffalos. The bells, which have replaced the more traditional wooden bells, are acting as lethal lightning conductors. When buffalos work the more rural areas of Thailand, their brass bells are often the only metal around when lightning strikes.

I remember the ferocity of thunderstorms from my travels in northern Thailand, and I have a lingering fondness for the lumbering, industrious water buffalo I’d never seen before I went to SE Asia. Let’s hope their days as (literal) fashion victims will soon be over – sentimentality aside, their key role in rural agriculture demands it.



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