Buffalo Bulls Face-Off and Lock Horns


Sep 19 2016
Responding to a report at Olifants West Game Reserve in Balule regarding an enormous breeding herd of buffalo (approximately 400),  Liam Burrough, expert guide trailed towards the sighting. Liam says, The effect of the light catching the dust stirred up by the large breeding herd made the atmosphere around the two colossal bulls just breathtaking.'
 
A characteristic feature of adult male African buffaloes' horns are the fusion of them at their bases which form a continuous shield called a 'boss.'  Liam says, 'Competition amongst male buffaloes for the right to mate is intense. Bulls will use their bone-crushing bosses to inflict incdredible blows on each other. Amidst these blows their horns can result in gruesome wounds, even splitting deep into their thick skin and dense muscles.' 
 
 
 
'Ballistics experts reckon that the force generated by two buffalo bulls colliding is similar to driving a small car into a solid brick wall at a speed of 50km/h. 'These bulls faced-off and locked horns a few times, but it was mostly just jousting. Not a real confrontation,' says Liam. 
 
'A buffalo society is relatively varied - females and their young will commonly remain in large breeding herds with both dominant and subordinate bulls moving in and out. You can also see bachelor groups which are herds of bulls that are not actively pursuing females, and then lastly solitary bulls or smaller groups (2-3), often referred to as dugga (mud) boys...These are bulls that are older and maybe a bit too slow to keep up with breeding herds and are maybe not strong enough to compete with younger, fitter bulls ... You might say that they have retired! Their days of chasing females are over.' 

The African buffalo is also never far from water and is often found living in swamps, grassland and lowland floodplains. When in larger herds they are even known to cross deep rivers where strength in numbers aids their survival. 

To also experience similar wildlife sightings download the Latest Sightings app (iPhone / iPad or Android), which offers visitors to game parks real time sighting alerts via other visitors' tings and Lodges' Sightings Boards. 
 
Photography and commentary by Liam Burrough
 

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