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Cape Buffalo

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petert
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Cape Buffalo

Unread postby petert » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:05 pm

During a trip to Kruger last week, we saw a huge herd of buffao near Mlondozi Dam above Lower Sabie.
On two individuals we saw branded numbers, i.e. 20 and 30, and on others we saw (radio) collars.
Is this herd being specially monitored and do the numbers mean that certain individuals are being more closely watched ?
We would be most interested to know.

By the way, we also spotted 4 lions from the picnic spot not very far away from the buffalo - they also came down to drink before moving up towards the buffalo again.
An interesting sight.

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Re: Buffalo branding

Unread postby Danie » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:48 pm

Dear Petert
These buffalo are part of a research project. There are a few buffalo projects running at the moment (including TB) and I will find out from our researchers exactly what research is performed on the particular individuals you saw - thanks for the numbers.

Mlondozi is an excellent viewpoint in Kruger. Glad you could see the lions as well!
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Re: Buffalo branding

Unread postby Danie » Wed Jan 05, 2005 11:08 pm

Dear Petert
I spoke to the researchers on the buffalo project and indeed, the group you saw at Mlondozi dam is one of the groups being monitored as part of the TB Project. The radio collars you saw help to locate the animals easily from the air and the branding (number on individual) is to identify the specific animal in the research. I hope this answers your question.[/quote]
Dear Peter

A bit more detail on the buffalo you saw. The vet, also involved in buffalo research, is back from leave and she also gave me a bit more information (thanks Lin-Mari!):

All the animals with some form of marking on them, have a microchip planted in behind the ear. These animals' moving patterns, survival and calving percentage are monitored.

If you need more information, do not hesitate to ask and we can put you in contact with the researchers working on this project.

Thanks again for the observation!
Regards

Danie Pretorius
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South African National Parks (SANParks)

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Re: Animal Behaviour

Unread postby bwana » Tue Feb 08, 2005 9:08 am

Wild@Heart wrote:Just a question..

While we were at Skukuza, we saw a lone buffalo on the other side of the Lower Sabie bank. He/She was lying down between the long grass, chewing and looking at the sun (sunset - just before gates closed).

He/She was there in that position for a long time. Is there any specific reason why he/she would have done it? Or is that just plain normal?


Have you ever seen how cows justs stand and stare in one direction, chewing the cudd, and looking like they are trying to figure out the meaning of life? I think thats the same thing with the buffalo. The bulls especially like to just 'chill-out' when they are older - I think its because they are grumpy and the rest of the herd, kids, wives irritate them - you know the story! :wink: :lol:
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Unread postby Tabs » Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:22 pm

Guinea Pig wrote:Thanx a million, Katja! :D They look like domestic calves. Incredibly similar. I wonder why we've never seen any in KNP? Do they "hide" the babies, or something? :lol:


The most important members (calves and higher ranking members) of a buffalo herd are protected in that they are generally kept in the centre or the front of the herd as predation is more likely to happen at the rear or the outer fringes. The animals most likely to be predated upon are the lower ranking males, calves and older females, which cannot keep up in the main body of the herd.

This could be why you have not noticed calves in the herd - I have seen calves often but mostly, admittedly, when fortunate to come across them as they cross the road or if they are in an open area next to the road or on a river bed.

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Re: buffalo

Unread postby Meg » Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:02 am

Elena wrote:Hi everyone,
I just had a look at laine's trip thread and was surprised to read that they were charged by a buffalo.
Has anyone experienced this ? Do buffalo often charge cars ?
I know that it is quite dangerous to meet them on foot but never felt danger when meeting them in a car.


One should always be vary wary of buffalo. It isn't unusual at all for them to charge cars, and unlike elephant they don't waste energy mock charging if they've made up their mind that they don't like you.

Of course I'm not suggesting one becomes phobic about buffalo :), simply that we give them their space. Whenever we come across buffalo crossing a road we reverse and put some space between ourselves and them, mainly because of the number of times we've seen other vehicles go looking for trouble. It's astonishing how often people will drive right up to them, then hoot to get a photo of their faces :x . Then, of course, the buffalo closest go a bit nuts and the cars around them scatter. I have no desire to end up with a horn through my door just because someone else doesn't show these huge creatures respect.
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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:32 am

Madach was once marooned in a very large herd (over 150 of them) and he was definitely not happy. I think I can remember him telling me that he was charged on two other occasions.
Remember, they are not far behind the mosquito (killer #1) and hippo (killer #2).
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Unread postby bwana » Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:41 am

I agree DuQues, they are regarded by many to be the most dangerous of the BIG 5. Its not difficult to get into trouble with a large herd, especially when there are young. Herd bulls are notoriously unafraid and will defend the group by actively seeking out the danger. They often form a line of defence when being stalked by lion. Bachelor bulls and old dagga boys can be extrememly tempramental and even if you are in a car, surprising them is enough reason for them to rearrange your car's bodywork. As with all of the BIG 5 being prude should be your modus operandi. Always leave enough room for a get away, and never infringe on the animals sense of space.
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Unread postby Elena » Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:32 pm

bwana wrote:They often form a line of defence when being stalked by lion.


A few years ago, we saw lions going for a buffalo. We thought it was dead when the herd came back, chased the lions and helped the buffalo to go away.


Thanks to you all for your answers :wink: . We always keep safe distances from buffalo but next time I get to see them, I'll really be carefull !

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Re: buffalo

Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:01 am

Elena wrote:Hi everyone,
I just had a look at laine's trip thread and was surprised to read that they were charged by a buffalo.
Has anyone experienced this ? Do buffalo often charge cars ?
I know that it is quite dangerous to meet them on foot but never felt danger when meeting them in a car.


I have been charged once by a buffalo and couple of times by rhino. The buff charge was serious and lucky for me I picked it up early enough. We watched a smallish herd next to the road when I spotted a bull jogging around a bush sniffing the air. I got the car into 1st and held my foot on the petrol. Suddenly it busrt semi around semi through a bush and came staight to us. I dropped the clutch and made way forward to about 100m. An Uno fiat drove in the opposite direction and the buff went for it too. The reverse lights of the Uno came on and the buff stood in the middle of the road like elephants do for a good couple of moments prohibiting anyone coming by.

Rhino is easier to backoff. Just hit hard on the side of the door or roof. As soon as it realises that u r not another rhino it relaxes, marks it's territory and moves off.
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Buffalo

Unread postby Peter Betts » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:45 pm

PAFURI MISS

This Buffalo Cow had a huge spread of horns just near the Picnic spot at Pafuri

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:39 am

EricExSA wrote:I was told that Buffalo are very inquisitive animals and if one is charging you just drop something from the car and it will stop to inspect what you have dropped. Is that true


EricExSA,

On foot, it is said by big game hunters that one thing you could try to prevent from getting your complexion mixed with african soil is to remove a piece of clothing and chuck it on the ground as a time saving factor.

I am sure many folks never found out whether it had worked or not. There are very few things that will stop a buffalo when he has your name in his black book.

When you are in a car, as Boulder had said, you won't easily be charged by buff. But to waste time to drop something out of the window is also not exactly the optimum thing to try. Rather leave that left foot on the clutch and "drop" it when the buff "gets big on you".

A tip with rhino, seeing that they don't see(pardon the unintentional pun) all to well, they sometimes confuse a car as an intruding bull into their territory. When the thing with the horn on the snout comes your way, it is best to bang lighty on your car's roof or on the side of the door to expunge any confusion in the matter @ hand(or is it horn?) and signal to the rhino that you don't have any non-natural conjugal interested in his cows.
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Unread postby Wild about cats » Wed Nov 29, 2006 1:46 pm

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