Saturday, 6 October 2012

World’s rarest buffalo, the Mindoro dwarf buffalo, reaches highest level for many years in the Philippines

Hope has Horns in Mindoro - Words and Photos by Gregg Yan
I am a bush. Heavily-camouflaged by a sniper's Ghillie Suit and betrayed only by the scarlet glint of my field binoculars, I cautiously observe our quarry, a herd of tamaraw, emerging from a billowing field of cogon, not 50 metres away.

"We're within charging distance," warns our eagle-eyed tracker, Edgardo Flores. While hot, heavy and earthen-smelling, my leafy Ghillie Suit fools no one, as the buffalo herd stares right at us. Should they attack, Plan A was to scramble up the nearest tree. Plan B was well ... we hoped Plan A would do.

Guided by spotters atop nearby Magawang Mountain, we took 30 minutes to approach this herd. Sloth-like, I exchange the binoculars for a telephoto, framing three buffalo forming a skirmish line, preparing to charge. As I click they bolt off, bounding back to the brush with more grace than any carabao can dream of.


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