By Zalina Maizan Ngah, Kamaliza Kamaruddin and Wan Zuratikah Iffah Wan Zulkifli
KUALA TERENGGANU, Sept 14 -- A teenager who shot to fame after he was photographed for his special affinity to his father's herd of buffaloes is sad that the family is losing a large number of the animals to an unidentified disease.
Muhammad Syukur Khamis, 15, who became famous last year and came to be labelled as the ‘Kampung Boy’, is hoping they can save as many of the over 100 head of buffaloes as possible.
Lamented his 64-year-old father Khamis Jusoh: "They are dying one by one. We have already lost 36 of them (since last Wednesday). Ten of them are quite ill.”
He said the animals were succumbing to the disease at an unbelievably fast rate. Eleven buffaloes died yesterday and a similar number today, he added.
Khamis said his loss so far is estimated at over RM200,000.
He also said that the Veterinary Services Department has taken samples to determine the cause of death of the animals.
"The actual cause of death will only be known in two weeks after the samples have been tested in the laboratory. The department has advised us to isolate the healthy animals from the ailing,” he told reporters at the farm in Kampung Kubang Bujuk, here, today.
Asked whether he suspected foul play, Khamis said he will leave it to the police to investigate and find out.
Muhammad Syukur, the Mowgli of Malaysia, said he accepted the matter as fate but will be more vigilant with regard to the health of the animals.
He said he learned that this is the first time that a large number of buffaloes have died at the same time at their farm which has been operating for the past 50 years.
Muhammad Syukur said the main concern of the family now is to save as many buffaloes as possible.
He said he can still afford a smile because his favourite buffalo, named Semek, remains healthy.
The teenager said the ailing animals showed symptoms of having runny nose, being inactive and blood in the stool.
When the Bernama reporter arrived at the farm, the process of burying the animal carcasses was going on, with the aid of a bulldozer.
The other animals in the farm, such as cows and goats, seem to be unaffected by the disease.
Muhammad Syukur has been in the media limelight since 2015 after more than 100 photographers in the country and abroad recorded photographs and videos of him with his buffalo ‘friends’.
Malaysian National News Agency
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