CAMAGÜEY. - “ To see, old man,”, says Luis Yáñez Viamontes while he seizes for the headstall to a robust and black as the darkest night buffalo. "Over here", he speaks to the animal as one speaks to a friend, and accommodates it so that we could see it well.

“Kiro is one of our champions of cattle fairs, son of another two winners, Chaquira and Roque. He is only three years old, 1 400 weighs pounds and it is very docile”, he assures us while he mounts it, like good peasant, to corroborate his words.

“The people without knowledge have given bad reputation to the buffaloes, ‘that there is not fence that bears them’, ‘that they are very aggressive’. It does not turn out to be difficult to tame them, what it is necessary to begin with them since they are young, with eight or nine months. I put the ring to them in the nose and caress them, a lot of docility. This way it is achieved that they adapt themselves to be with persons, who touch them or mount them.

“I work with them since 2006 here in the field of animals for fairs of the Managerial Unit of Base Maraguán and I have domesticated 200. They all are already not with me because they grow and change categories; on having given birth, the females go to the dairy.

“With Kiro, it is different to me. It is not another one, as it was not his father, that when they took him for the slaughterhouse I continued crying. He is good. I mount him to move the animals of the pastures; we go together all over, to the parades on May 1st in Jimaguayú, to the political acts... and people want to touch him, to mount him, to take photos with him, especially the children who love him very much. Kiro is an idol, a figure in the municipality.

“At present he goes to the fairs only for exhibitions, because he cannot already compete for the age. We use him for the work with the younger ones and with the cattle relief, to demonstrate the people that they are not so brave as say and there is no reason to be afraid of them”.

Luis is also champion, although he does not say it for modesty, but on the wall of the wooden big house of the UEB Maraguán there are hung approximately 400 awards that give him away and allow the visitor to know of his multiple laurels as better breeder of buffaloes of the country, better exhibitor and better presenter, among others.

“I would like that Kiro stays with me until I am an old man, until the destiny decides that he must not live any more”, assures this charming buffaloes cowboy. “I would like taking care of him until he will be old, dies next to me. It will take long time for my luck, because they can last between 22 and 25 years. To lose Roque was very hard, but I already have Kiro, which gives me strengths to continue”.

Translated by Linet Acuña Quilez