Water Buffalo

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Water buffalo in Karabakh.

The Water Buffalo (գոմեշ or Gomesh in Armenian)is a very large ungulate and a member of the bovine subfamily. They are especially popular in Armenia and Karabakh for the rich yoghurt produced from their milk.

Adult Water Buffalo range in size from 300 kg to 600 kg for the domestic bred, but true wild water buffaloes can grow larger. Adult females typically weigh around 800 kg, and males up to 1200 kg. The average weight of an adult male is 900 kg, and the average height at the shoulder is about 1.7m. One distinction between wild buffaloes and domesticated version is that the wild species lacks the round belly found in domesticated buffalo. Due to interbreeding with feral and domestic species, weights can vary greatly even in populations which are in in close proximity.

Milk from both of these animals is used by many human populations, and is the traditional raw material for mozzarella cheese and curd due to its higher fat content. The chief dairy breed of Buffalo is the Murrah breed. Buffalo meat is sometimes called "Carabeef". In many regions, buffalo's meat is less preferred due to its toughness. Water buffalo hide provides a tough and useful leather.

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