Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis)
Adult female tamaraw
Photographed February 2003
Gene Pool Captive Breeding Center
Mt. Iglit-Baco National Park, Philippines
?? Copyright Josef Suchomel, 2003
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis; previously Anoa mindorensis), Tamarao or Mindoro Dwarf Buffalo is a bovine endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. It is believed, however, to have once also thrived on the greater island of Luzon. It was originally found all over Mindoro, from sea level up to the mountains, but because of human habitation, hunting, and logging, it is now restricted to only a few remote grassy plains and is now an endangered species.
Contrary to common belief and past classification, the Tamaraw is not a subspecies of the local Carabao, which is only slightly larger, or the common Water Buffalo. In contrast to the Carabao, it has a number of distinguishing characteristics: it is slightly hairier, has light markings on its face, is not gregarious, and has shorter horns that are somewhat V-shaped.
A Symbol of the Philippine Spirit
Though the national animal of the Philippines is the Carabao, the Tamaraw is closely considered a national symbol of the Philippines. It symbolizes sturdiness amidst a small frame, which most Filipinos possess. An image of the Tamaraw could be found on the 1980 to early 1990 One-Peso coins.
During the wake of the Asian van popularity in 1990s, Toyota Motors released an Asian van called Tamaraw FX in the Philippines. It was widely patronized by taxi operators and was immediately turned into a staple mode of transportation much like a cross of the taxi and the local jeepney.
The tamaraw is also the mascot of the varsity teams of the Far Eastern University in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines.