Rescued from the slaughterhouse
Court official buys old beasts with 'good traits' to stop them disappearing
Being a lover of the pastoral life, Attawat Chainarong feels sad every time he sees a buffalo slaughtered.
He believes the animal, now that its work is finished, should be allowed to walk free through green fields and enjoy living.
And that's why he has already bought 13 buffaloes from slaughterhouses to raise them in his own field.
Attawat has harboured an ambitious goal. This 50-year-old official at the Provincial Juvenile and Family Court of Ranong is hoping he will be able to set up a Conservation Centre of Albino Buffaloes very soon. Six of his buffaloes are, after all, albino.
"I plan to buy two more albinos," he said, "I have already contacted the slaughterhouses in Maha Sarakham to express my interest to buy".
Attawat said the conservation of Thai buffaloes was needed otherwise they may cease to be seen.
Decades ago, buffaloes were a common sight in paddy fields as they were like farmers' best friends. They ploughed the fields and provided good vehicles in days when Thai life was not so rushed.
Today, the world has changed drastically. An increasing number of rice farmers now rely on farm tractors and drive pickups or motorcycles. They no longer need buffaloes.
Attawat said it was sad to see so many buffaloes end up in at slaughterhouses these days.
His conservation efforts may not reverse the trend - but he hopes his efforts will count.
Attawat has travelled extensively across the country for this mission. He has been to Samui Island in the South, Maha Sarakham in the Northeast, and Chachoengsao in the East to save buffaloes with the best characteristics from being killed.
He has been looking for animals with good traits as he has set his sights on conservation. His first priority is the albino buffalo.
Attawat said slaughterhouses have agreed to sell him albino buffaloes at between Bt40,000 and Bt50,000 each.
After taking the buffaloes home, he gives them names. They are now known as "Ma Ruay" (Getting Rich), "Ngern Larn" (Million Money), "Thong Ma" (Coming Gold), "Boon Mark" (Lots of Merits) and "Plawarn" (Whale).
Attawat said he had also bought some pregnant buffaloes to prevent them from being killed. So he has how a total of 13 buffaloes in his field. He feeds them with both Napier and Pangola grass, ordering the latter from Nakhon Pathom at Bt45,000 per truck.
"I have found that if I let the buffaloes eat Napier grass in the fields alone, they don't look very healthy. So, I have decided to pay for the Pangola grass too. It's their supplementary food," Attawat said.
Perhaps his buffaloes will get a few friends of another species soon - because this animal lover is eyeing two albino horses in Phetchabun.