If it’s not one thing, it’s another!
Wild buffaloes outwit officials in Taipei County
2003-02-28 / Taiwan News, Staff Writer /
A herd of Taiwan buffaloes yesterday defeated more than 30 officials assigned to round them up from the Taipei County Government in their first round of hide-and-seek. Four of them, however, were still caught and impounded before the end of the day.
The Taipei County Government set out a task force to trace the whereabouts of some 60 buffaloes after receiving complaints that buffaloes were disturbing the peace-traffic, crop damage, and pedestrian assaults-on some densely-populated locations along Ta Han River in the county.
The task force-composed of more than 30 veterinarians, agricultural specialists, police officers, and rescue workers-succeeded in catching but four buffaloes after losing track of the others despite pursuing them since early last morning.
Surprised by the task force’s poor performance, County Magistrate Su Chen-chang (蘇貞昌) worked out a one-month plan vowing to arrest, impound and relocate those buffaloes. The task force commander, Tsai Tsung-yi (蔡宗益), also the director of the county’s animal disease control center, admitted that they were not experienced in dealing with wild buffaloes, despite having planned and prepared for this mission for a long time.
Tsai said these buffaloes were abandoned by their ex-owner Lee Pi-o (李碧娥) after the outbreak of the foot-and-month disease three years ago. Their number was 30 at the beginning, but has exceeded 60 recently.
Tsai suggested that they raid the herd around dawn before the buffaloes regain consciousness after a long night of sleep. “The buffaloes not only outnumbered us, but were also able to run much farther along the river bed,” he said. Their loitering and food scrounging in that neighborhood has become an increasing threat to local residents in their daily lives-especially those factory workers, students, and children who must walk home on dark streets frequented by the buffaloes.
Kuo Pu-yun (郭步雲), director of the county’s agriculture department, said they had learned a lesson from their first encounter. The buffaloes are good at hiding behind rocks or tall weeds and can react swiftly to any change in their environment.