The most handsome buffalo in Thailand has died.
Baiyok, who won scores of beauty pageants and was the official spokesbuffalo for the Buffalo Conservation Community, died at the age of seven on Wednesday, Thai PBS reported.
The 1.2 ton buffalo was believed to have fallen ill from exhaustion and heat due to frequent travel to shows across the country.
His owner Sombat Thamla-ead said the Baiyok had fallen ill after returning from a show at Maejo University in Chiang Mai earlier this month, eating less and having trouble with his digestive system.
He was given treatment but died on Wednesday night.
Baiyok had won praise for his rare white spots arching over his eyes, the leonine stripe around his neck and the socks of velvety black fur.
Sombat had valued him at THB5 million, but had vowed not to sell the buffalo as he loved him too much.
He said the buffalo was a part of his family and that they were all grieving his loss.
A Buddhist ceremony was held for Baiyok at Sombat’s Big Ice Thai Buffalo farm in Phitsanulok’s Phrom Philarm district, before he was buried.
Sombat said they would later exhume the body to preserve his skeleton for study, and that they had saved his semen for breeding.