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World wildlife Wednesday has rolled around again, and I was stuck for an idea this week until my friend Viv, who lives in Thailand, posted a photo of one of her local water buffalo.

160817 cambo cattle (11)

My photos, however, were not taken in Thailand but in Cambodia, where I lived and worked for seven months back in 2013. Both water buffalo and the local cattle are common sights there, pulling wagons and ploughs, and wallowing in muddy watering holes. These valuable, well-tended beasts of burden are also farmed for their dairy products, and cow dung has long been used both as fertiliser and as fuel in impoverished countries like Cambodia. Cattle also feature in their ancient religions, and representations can be seen in the stone statues and sculptured reliefs that adorn the world-famous temples of Angkor Wat and the local pagodas. So, today we have a celebration of ‘bovinity’!