Thursday, February 20, 2014

Trophy Water Buffalo From Papua New Guinea - Feeding a Village

New places are something of mystery. The vistas, smells, culture, language and food are just a few of the exciting aspects of visiting new places. This 10 day trip took me over 9,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean and 500 miles by vehicle to explore and study and hunt the great Asiatic water buffalo. 

According to various web sites, this species of buffalo (Carabao) was introduced to PNG as a domestic animal by the Germans prior to World War I. It was resistant to tick fever which was inflicting the cattle. Coconut plantations used them as draught animals. Today the meat from the buffalo, along with feral pigs and Rusa deer, feed entire villages - each part of the animals is consumed or utilized. The hunt for Buff is conducted in a 20 square mile lowland grassy region South West of Wewak the capital of East Sepik, PNG.

City View from Inn at Wewak
On Approach to Wewak
Upon arriving I was hit by a surreal feeling of excitement and adventure, and a time change. I was now 15 hours ahead of east coast time. The smell was different, the weather was hot and muggy, and the people very unique and interesting. The first day was spent at an elegant tropical hotel owned by Chinese people and a short distance from the airport. A great place to re-charge after days on my feet at the SCI Convention and a transcontinental trip.