Teachers trying to coax a heartbroken ‘Mowgli’ back to school

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KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysia’s own “Mowgli” has not attended school for over a week following the mass deaths of his family’s buffaloes, and his teachers are getting worried.

They hope that Muhammad Syukur Khamis, 15, will not become too withdrawn due to the deaths of almost half of his father’s original herd of 110 buffaloes, including the boy’s favourites – Semek and Tongkol.

The Kampung Boy – as he is also known after gaining international fame for his affinity to the animals – could still smile a couple of days ago but that was before Semek died from a bacterial infection that killed the other animals.

Muhammad Syukur’s teachers at SMK Padang Midin feel that counselling would be the best way to ensure that the Form Three student’s education remains unaffected by the incident.

One of the teachers, Siti Rokiah Abdullah, said the boy would be counselled from time to time.

Several teachers were taking turns to talk to him, she added.

“On the first day when some of the buffaloes began succumbing, school principal Khairi Mohd Nor and the senior assistant for student affairs Zaki Mohd Nor had called on Muhammad Syukur and his family to provide them moral support, ” said Siti Rokiah.

On Friday, several members of the school management and teachers’ club also visited the boy, she added.

Zaki said the school understood the boy’s situation and would not be taking any disciplinary action against him for not attending his classes.

“We understand that this is a trying time, especially for a person his age.

“Imagine, he used to enjoy the company of his buffalo friends and now, all of a sudden, almost half of them are gone, ” he said.

Since Sept 9,52 of the 110 buffaloes belonging to Muhammad Syukur’s father Khamis Jusoh in Kampung Kubang Bujuk died.

Reporters who went to the farm found the teen caressing the dead animals and helping to bury them.

Photographs of Muhammad Syukur playing with over 100 buffaloes went viral on social media and won accolades for the photographers at the international level.

The buffalo farm in Kampung Kubang Bujuk is currently out of bounds to the public while the healthy animals have been given antibiotic injections by the Terengganu Veterinary Services Department. — Bernama

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