KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysia’s Mowgli is heartbroken. The teenager, who earned worldwide fame after pictures of him interacting with a herd of buffalos went viral, has lost a quarter of the herd. Muhammad Syukur Khamis, 15, also known by the nickname “Kampong Boy”, expressed sadness when 25 heads of buffalo belonging to his father were found dead at Kampung Banggol Katong yesterday. In a Facebook post, he said it was a great loss to his family and did not rule out the possibility that a disease had caused the deaths. “This is likely a seasonal outbreak and we hope it will end soon, ” he posted under the “Syukur Khamis – Kampong Boy” Facebook account which showed photographs of the burial process. The teen became a global sensation among photographers for his prowess in interacting with the over 100 heads of buffalo reared by his father. A picture of him with a herd of the animals went viral on social media after it was voted best picture in Asia besides being shortlisted as among the top 20 photographs in the world. Muhammad Syukur said the main concern of the family now was to save as many buffaloes as possible. He said he could still afford a smile because his favourite buffalo, named Semek, remained healthy.A sad day: Muhammad Syukur looking at one of the dead buffaloes on his father’s farm. (Inset) One of the photographs of Muhammad Syukur and his buffaloes that went viral. The teenager said the ailing animals showed symptoms of having runny nose, being inactive and blood in the stool. His father Khamis Jusoh, 64, said the animals were dying one after the other. “We have already lost 36 of them (since last Wednesday). “Ten of them are quite ill, ” Khamis said. He added that the animals were succumbing to the disease at an unbelievably fast rate. He added that 11 buffaloes died on Sunday. Khamis said he estimated his loss at over RM200,000. He also said that the Veterinary Services Department had taken samples to determine the cause of death of the animals. “The actual cause of death will only be known in two weeks. “The department has advised us to isolate the healthy animals from the ailing, ” he told reporters at the farm in Kampung Kubang Bujuk here. — Bernama
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