Hong Kong animal protection groups are focusing on wild cows and buffaloes ahead of the Chinese Year of Ox, which will begin on February 5. According to the Associated Press, animal protection groups, including Lantau Buffalo Association are moving across rural Hong Kong to distribute food to cattle with funded money. These groups are working to preserve the habitat of wild bovines in order to keep them relevant for future generations of urban-styled Hong Kong.
Ho Loy, chairwoman of the Lantau Buffalo Association, along with her team of volunteers is feeding cows and water buffalo in Lantau, her native village. Ho believes that taking care of cows and buffalo will help preserve nature in general. Ho, who has been taking care of wild animals for years, said that water buffalo spend most of their time in wetlands, and hence preserving them would require the preservation of wetlands.
According to Hong Kong's Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department, there are at least 1,100 brown cattle and an estimated 120 water buffalo across Lantau Island and other rural parts. More than 75% of Hong Kong's territory is not occupied by humans, which means more green hills and forests available for wild animals.
The Year of the Ox is celebrated every 12 years according to Chinese astrology and is the second of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac signs. It was last celebrated in 2009 and will be next celebrated in 2033. The upcoming Ox Year will last until January 30, 2022. There are five types of Ox - water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. This year is the Metal Ox year. The Ox year is celebrated to mark the contributions of Oxen and the bovine family in agriculture, etc.
(Image Credit: AP)