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Media Release: Camdeboo National Park's buffalo herd gets two new bulls

06 December 2012

The bulls were selected from the herd in the Addo Elephant National park following an operation in June to remove all the adult bulls in the Camdeboo National Park. “Thirteen bulls were captured and sold at the SANParks game auction at the Kirkwood Wildsfees. The aim of the operation was to improve our local bloodline,” said Park Manager, Peter Burdett.

About 12 buffalo were introduced into the Camdeboo National Park in the late 80’s and since that time about 120 have been captured and sold at various game auctions. “This has resulted in the continual depletion of genetic variation in the herd and although no signs of inbreeding are yet apparent, we are taking a proactive approach to the management of the herd,” continued Burdett.

During the three-month period of their captivity in the park prior to release, the two bulls were held in bomas with a view to acclimatising them to the local area.  Three buffalo cows were captured in the park to keep them company. The hope was that the cows would assist in the smooth integration of the bulls into the local herd. The two bulls were also fitted with radio transmitting collars while in captivity with a view to monitoring their movements after release.

Burdett says one of the animals seems to have settled down in the area of the Impunzi picnic site near to the Sundays River while the other has been a little more adventurous.  This animal left the park three days after release and explored camp 39, a piece of municipal property to the north of the game viewing area. It then crossed the Murraysburg road overnight and was finally recaptured on the farm Gannaleegte.  “At the moment this bull is back in the park’s bomas until we decide which steps to follow next,” concluded Burdett.

Buffalo released in Camdeboo
One of the radio-collared bulls drinking water at the drift on the tourist route through the Sundays River in the Camdeboo National Park.

Issued by:
South African National Parks

Fayroush Ludick
Regional Communications Manager
South African National Parks (SANParks)
Tel: (042) 233 8609; Cell: 082 888 0201