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This article is about . For ,see Carabao (disambiguation).

A carabao in the Philippines
A carabao in the Philippines
Conservation status


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Bubalus
Species: B. bubalis
Binomial name
Bubalus bubalis
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The carabao (Filipino: kalabaw; Malay language|Malay: kerbau) or B. bubalus carabanesis is a domesticated subspecies of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalus) found in the Philippines, Guam, and various parts of Southeast Asia. Carabaos are highly associated with farmers, being the farm animal of choice for pulling the plow and the cart used to haul farm produce to the market.



Adults weigh seven to eight hundred kilograms—almost 2,000 pounds—and have fairly long gray or black hair thinly covering their huge bodies. They have a tuft of hair on their forehead, and at the tip of their tail. Normally, they are silent, but they will give a trembling snort if they are surprised.

Both males and females have massive horns. Since carabao have no sweat glands, they cool themselves by lying in waterholes or mud during the heat of the day. Mud, caked on to their bodies also protects them from bothersome insects.

Carabao eat grass and other vegetation, feeding mainly in the cool of the mornings and evenings. In some places of the world carabao are used for milk just like a cow, or they may be slaughtered for their hide and their meat. They live to age 18 or 20 and have one calf each year.

In the Philippines

Carabaos are indigenous to Southeast Asia; as waves of migration into the Philippines occurred, the carabao were captured and domesticated.

The carabao is considered as a national symbol of the Philippines.

Also, the mascot of the Philippine Daily Inquirer is Guyito, a carabao.

Carabaos are often used by farmers in the Philippines. It is one of the most important animals in the country specially in agriculture.

In Guam

The carabao is also considered a national symbol of Guam. They were imported into Guam from the Philippines in the late 1600s during the Spanish colonial administration of Guam as a beast of burden and as transportation. They were used for farming and to pull "carabao carts." As recently as the early 1960s, carabao races were a popular sport on Guam, especially during fiestas.

Today, carabaos are a part of the popular culture on Guam. A Christmas song called "Jungle Bells", sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells", makes reference to riding a "carabao cart today" instead of the "one-horse open sleigh" in the traditional song. Carabaos are often brought to carnivals or other festivities on Guam and used as a popular ride for kids. They are also sometimes eaten as a delicacy on Guam, although this is not common these days. Colorful, painted, fiberglass carabaos can be seen in the capital, Hagåtña, as well as other locations, such as the Guam Premier Outlets in Tamuning.

While carabaos were fairly common on Guam before the 1900s, with a population numbering in the thousands, today they are rare in most parts of Guam. The exception is in the U.S. Naval Magazine in the village of Santa Rita, where the carabaos were protected from hunters as Naval Magazine is fenced on all sides. The carabao population of Naval Magazine has grown to several hundred, to the point that they have become a pest and cause environmental damage and pollute the Naval water supply in the Fena Resevoir. In 2003, the Navy, in a controversial move that was protested by many Chamorro people, began a program of extermination to control the carabao population of Naval Magazine.

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Original Source

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