October 28, 2009 / 9:16 AM / 9 years ago

Big, bovine, beautiful: Meet India's Miss Buffalo

PATNA, India (Reuters Life!) - The models were hefty, horned, heavily made-up and hooved — everything you’d expect from contestants at a beauty contest for water buffalo in India that was aimed at improving the lot of the livestock.

About 125 buffalo, decorated with colorful cloths and ornaments, took part in the event at a village in the eastern Bihar state, plodding down a makeshift stage as the crowds cheered.

“The objective of the show was to teach villagers to take care of the poor animals,” Prabhat Ranjan, the organizer of the event said from Madhepura district, where the fashion show was held this week.

“The buffalo are underfed and as a result their milk production is decreasing.”

In rural Bihar, most villagers depend on selling buffalo milk to earn their a living. Local authorities say they are trying to educated the animals’ owners about issues such as proper feeding and disease prevention.

And the winner? Radha the buffalo, who earned her owner a $10 in prize money.

Event organizers said they were planning similar shows in other villages.

Writing by Bappa Majumdar; Editing by Miral Fahmy

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