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Buffaloes love hot springs in eastern Turkey

Updated : January 30, 2019 10:17 AM IST

For the buffaloes in eastern Turkey, the hot springs in the mountainous Bitlis province are a welcome refuge from the freezing wintry weather. Residents in the tiny village of Budakli walk hundreds of buffaloes up snow-covered roads to the geothermal springs near the dormant Nemrut volcano in the winter. The animals already know the way and spend hours in the steamy 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) waters — so much so that the young men herding them struggle to get the massive animals out of the water and go home. The hot springs help keep the animals clean as they go through the winter. In the summer, the buffaloes swim in the cool waters of the plains.

Berkan Toren, 20, enjoys a hot spring along with his water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey.  (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Berkan Toren, 20, enjoys a hot spring along with his water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey.  (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Muhammed Toren, 18, washes his horse in a hot spring along with his water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. Muhammed, one of 9 siblings, studied until middle school and he takes care of the family's herd.  (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Muhammed Toren, 18, washes his horse in a hot spring along with his water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. Muhammed, one of 9 siblings, studied until middle school and he takes care of the family's herd.  (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Buffaloes bathe in a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Buffaloes bathe in a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
 Muhammed Toren, 18, left, and Berkan Toren, 20, enjoy a hot spring along with their water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
 Muhammed Toren, 18, left, and Berkan Toren, 20, enjoy a hot spring along with their water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Ayten Toren, left, poses with two of her nine children, Dilan, center, 15, and Muhammed, 18, in Budakli, a village with some 60 homes in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. During the winter, Muhammed often walks his family's 14 water buffaloes with those of other families up snow-covered roads to bathe in the nearby geothermal springs. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Ayten Toren, left, poses with two of her nine children, Dilan, center, 15, and Muhammed, 18, in Budakli, a village with some 60 homes in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. During the winter, Muhammed often walks his family's 14 water buffaloes with those of other families up snow-covered roads to bathe in the nearby geothermal springs. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Residents of the village with some 60 homes walk hundreds of buffaloes up snow-covered roads to the geothermal springs in the winter.  (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Residents of the village with some 60 homes walk hundreds of buffaloes up snow-covered roads to the geothermal springs in the winter.  (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
A water buffalo belonging to the Toren family is pictured in a stable in the village of Budakli, of the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
A water buffalo belonging to the Toren family is pictured in a stable in the village of Budakli, of the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Berkan Toren, 20, returns to his village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey, after walking his water buffaloes to a bath in a nearby hot spring. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Berkan Toren, 20, returns to his village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey, after walking his water buffaloes to a bath in a nearby hot spring. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Water buffaloes bathe in a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Water buffaloes bathe in a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Villagers say the hot springs heal buffaloes' wounds, alleviate discomfort in their breasts and make quality milk. The village's main source of income is cheese, butter and milk from the buffaloes. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Villagers say the hot springs heal buffaloes' wounds, alleviate discomfort in their breasts and make quality milk. The village's main source of income is cheese, butter and milk from the buffaloes. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
 Muhammed Toren rides his horse after a bath in a hot spring along with his water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. Muhammed, 18, one of nine siblings, studied until middle school and takes care of the family's herd. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
 Muhammed Toren rides his horse after a bath in a hot spring along with his water buffaloes near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. Muhammed, 18, one of nine siblings, studied until middle school and takes care of the family's herd. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Water buffaloes bathe in a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. The hot springs help keep the animals clean as they go through the winter. In the summer, the buffaloes swim in the cool waters of the plains.(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Water buffaloes bathe in a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. The hot springs help keep the animals clean as they go through the winter. In the summer, the buffaloes swim in the cool waters of the plains.(AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Muhammed Toren walks his family's water buffaloes to a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
Muhammed Toren walks his family's water buffaloes to a hot spring near the village of Budakli, in the mountainous Bitlis province of southeastern Turkey. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
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