Startling news from just across the water in Lymington, where six water buffalo have been stolen.
Police have warned people not to approach [them] as “they are able to spray dung across large distances”. A police spokesman said members of the public should not approach the buffalo from behind.
Now the Ranger has little experience of livestock generally, and none at all of water buffalo. But somehow this hitherto unremarked talent of the buffalo seems worthy of note. No other reference to this ability can be found on the web, although there are plenty of items to be found about the essentially similar trick of the bombardier beetle. So the Ranger’s theory is that this is a variation on the proverbial trick of marking a carton of milk ‘biology experiment’ in an attempt to deter thieves. All cattle have an enviable ability to express themselves with dung – a necessary skill to avoid covering their legs with the stuff. Perhaps water buffalo have refined the art slightly, and, mindful of this, the bereft owner of the buffalo in question decided to draw attention to this ability in the hope that the rustlers, terrified of getting high-pressure dung hosed into their faces, might bring the poor buffalo home. Or maybe not. Anyone else got any corroboration for the buffalo-dung weapon of mass destruction? EDIT: Yes, it worked! Apparently the beasts were back in their field the same day.