A water buffalo paid a visit to a Langley elementary school on Friday – but unlike last year’s visit, this one was planned ahead of time.
Farmer Brad Bennik brought Ebeneezer, a 10-month-old buffalo, by the elementary campus of Langley Christian School on 48th Avenue for a visit with students and staff.
The visit comes one year after an unplanned visit by Prince, a much larger full-grown water buffalo who got loose and went for a ramble one year ago this week, visiting the school grounds of both the elementary and middle/high school campuses.
The big buffalo, Prince, even briefly gave chase to a couple of senior administrators from the school.
It resulted in a brief hold-in-place for the elementary students, while Bennik, with an assist from the Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) rounded up Prince.
In the end, no one was hurt, and the event was a big hit with the kids.
“It became a big part of the school story,” said Peter Van Huizen, superintendent of the Langley Christian schools.
“I loved all those videos the high school kids posted,” joked Bennik.
The school was so taken with the buffalo that they invited Bennik back this year to bring another buffalo for a visit, though elementary principal John van der Leek noted that Ebeneezer is “about a quarter the size of the other one.”
Students were taken outside one class at a time to get up close with Ebeneezer, who weighs between 500 and 600 pounds right now. He’ll weigh considerably more and be a couple of feet taller when he’s full grown, said Bennik.
The Bennik family has 120 animals right now, with 25 being milked daily. They sell water buffalo milk and cheese, and had samples of the milk on hand for the kids to try.
“I think it’s going to be an annual thing,” said Van Huizen, as students petted Ebeneezer, who playfully licked, nuzzled, or head butted people.
Although last year’s visitor was officially named Prince, his trip through school grounds gave him another nickname, the principal said – Bolt, in honour of the school’s teams being named the Lightning.