Bertie is enjoying the longest season of fresh grass meals on Angel Island, with us still getting a little bit of rain in July/August Angel Island is still green and lush, only now 18th August some trees are starting to lose their leaves. Rain = one very happy Water Buffalo
He was spotted at the bottom of one of our small cliffs by Hubert (Guest) while he was kayaking around the island, that’s Hubert not Bertie;o))) after a very strange conversation between Eloise and me, I finally understood there was a cow on the island!!!!!!!!!!
Guests were trying to explain to the staff with hand signals and noises what they’d found as they didn’t know the English for Cow, with the gestures and ‘Beef’ ‘ Beef’ the staff just looked on amused at the crazy guests and had no clue what was going on;o)))
So anyway off we go in the boat to find him and see how we could get the rescue started. luckily he was in an area where we could walk him in shallow water to reach our red beach, Nius was to be head ‘cow wrangler’ and Bertie just followed along quietly till we made it to the beach, where he drank liters of water and we found him a comfy place to sleep and get some grass;o) we don’t know how long he was there!
But the story doesn’t end there! for the next night, Bertie got loose of his rope and disappeared, we hunted high and low, how on earth could you lose a baby water buffalo on such a small island?? Heartbroken I thought he must have fallen off a cliff as we found where he had slept that night which was in a very precarious place;o(
But, the next day whilst staff were picking rubbish from the beach he looked out across the water to see Bertie walking along the beach on the opposite uninhabited island, (maybe 1km away) so off they go in the boat with a plank of wood and just walked Bertie up onto the boat and back to the safety of Angel Island, he was still crying for his Mum, but he’s getting used to us all now and seems very happy to have found us, probably the only place in Indonesia where the owner is a vegetarian;o))))
All our guests love him and Bertie is now probably more photographed than the komodo dragons on Rinca;o)) So how did he come to be on the island? Packed Boats from Labuanbajo take water buffalo to Sulawesi to sell, he must have jumped ship and swam to shore, goodness knows how long or far he swam to reach us!
November 2011 Bertie is doing well, eating us out of grass and leaves, we’re having to get grass sent down from Ruteng which is a 4 hour drive away in the mountains;o))))) He’s growing quickly, but still just a big softy, all of our guests love him
A crow has started sitting on his back and catching any insects off him, hope to get a picture soon!
A Bertie Sighting by Nani Murtaqi 21 August 2012 Lo and behold, on our very first day on the island, we sighted Bertie on a tether standing in a clearing a little ways off the beach. He has grown handsomely indeed, thanks to neutering and a life of leisure. He has a taut pot belly, two formidable horns, and four perfectly matching white socks. Bertie has a loving keeper by the name of Opa. It is Opa who takes him for his daily run on the beach. Opa would hold on to Bertie’s tether, and together they would jog from one end of the beach to the other. Much like a pet puppy, Bertie skips and hops when he runs, all the while wearing a huge grin on his face. I half expected Opa to throw a tennis ball for him to catch. But that’s where the similarity ends. Bertie is still a buffalo at heart, and an almost full-grown one at that; one can imagine the pandemonium which would strike should the tennis ball whizz past a guest with Bertie in hot pursuit.
November 2012 Bertie getting to be some size, but still cute, sorry to any males reading this but we brought the vet over from Bali to get him castrated, he was getting a little bit too frisky and hard to handle, he’s now back to being cute as a button;o)
March 2014 Bertie is doing well, loving all the fresh green grass on the island, he’s getting very cheeky and actually calls the staff when he wants to move to a different grassy area, his call is not what you would expect from an animal so huge, more of a wee chirrrrup, so funny to hear.
September 2014 3 years since we found Bertie at the bottom of a small cliff on the island, he’s certainly grown some in that time and now sports a fine pair of horns. It’s the dry season, so once again his grass is being sent down from the mountains of Flores 7 big bags of fresh grass every 3 days, during the rainy season he does do an excellent job of keeping the grass cut;o)
November 2014 Bertie happily munching on his breakfast, still not much rain yet, so he’s still ordering takeaway from the mountains;o) Still doing his little dance every time we get a small shower of rain, very funny to see
September 18 2015 The first good rain of the season and Bertie is loving it, leaping around and rolling in the mud. Hopefully not too long until he’s back to cutting our lovely green grass on the island, still very dry and brown at the moment.