Interesting story on the front page of the Wall Street Journal today (March 30) about a fellow from Louisiana, A.P. Leonards, who is trying to raise water buffaloes. The water buffalo is common in Asia and elsewhere as a draft animal.

The story is datelined Orange Walk Town. Leonards has a herd of 6,250 water buffalo, of which a good number are in Belize (the story doesn't say how many exactly). He imported 325 to Belize about 15 years ago. Leonards has had various problems in Belize, according to the WSJ, including having to pay for quarantine for his original herd for two years, and at one point some of his buffaloes got loose and ate some sugar cane belonging to Belize Sugar Industries Ltd., which cost him US$50,000. Leonards is advertising to sell all his water buffaloes.

Leonards says he thinks it will take another 50 years to make the water buffalo popular in the Americas. He says he is setting up an upscale drug and alcohol rehab center near Orange Walk Town, hoping to attract athletes who are trying to dry out. He'll feed'em water buffalo meat, or "carabeef," he says.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First