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Buffalo are among the largest members of the Bovidae family. The best known species are the African and the water buffalo. Although commonly referred to by the same name, the American bison is only a distant relative of the true buffalo, which lives on other continents. They do, however, belong to the same family of hoofed mammals called ungulates and are similarly massive creatures. The Gaur, or Indian bison, is the largest wild bovid alive today, but tends to be similar in body mass with the bulkier wild water buffalo.
Number 5 Phillip Boyd
In December, 2016, Phillip Boyd and his friend Dave Linder, a former ranger and environmental officer, were looking for water buffalo in Australia’s Kakadu National Park. It’s worth mentioning that the populations found in the park are of feral domestic water buffalo. Linder was reportedly on a mission to bring back buffalo meat to his wife for Christmas.
Where Is It Located?
At the start of the 19th century, tens of millions of bison roamed North America. Early settlers called them ‘buffalo’ because of the resemblance they shared and the name stuck, even making it into classic folk songs such as ‘Home on the Range’. Fortunately, attempts to restabilize their numbers have been successful and now hundreds of thousands of bison are in farms and natural parks across North America. The domestic water buffalo enjoys a wide distribution across most continents while its ancestor, the larger wild water buffalo is mostly found in India, in the Assam state.
Number 4 Yellowstone National Park
There have been a number of bison encounters in recent years at Yellowstone National Park and most stemmed from people not respecting the recommended distance from them. In one case, a man in his mid-50s let a 2,000-pound bull approach him. He reportedly didn’t taunt the animal but simply refused to move away from it. A woman and her six-year old son were taking a selfie with a bison in the background, only several feet from them. The bison charged the woman and tossed her in the air even though she tried to run away. A 16-year-old Taiwanese exchange student was also taking selfies, with her back turned to a bison that was close by. 59-year-old Kim Hancock was with a group of tourists which, like many others, got too close to a bison.
They live in herds that exhibit mobbing behavior and will move to protect its members, particularly the calves. Much like Cape buffalo, they can move at speeds of up to 35 miles an hour.
Number 3 Simon Combes
As a wildlife artist, Simon Combes believed he had to get as close to his subjects as possible when trying to paint them. When he was 6 years old, his family moved to an 800 acre farm in Kenya. He began painting during periods of inactivity. He eventually dedicated himself to his art full-time and went on to have a celebrated career. In 2004, Combes, his second wife and a family friend climbed a stretch of land in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. They stopped to admire the view from the summit when they were confronted by a one-ton Cape buffalo.
Bison and buffalo should be avoided and you should never startle them. There’s a reason why Yellowstone National Park recommends that visitors should keep a minimum distance of 100 yards from bison. Find obstacles to increase the space between you and it.
Number 2 Bharat Gogoi
Bharat Gogoi was on duty at the Amkathani forest camp, alongside two other colleagues. Also known as the Asian buffalo, the wild water buffalo is among the most massive bovids in the world and it also owns the largest pair of horns, of all of them.
Number 1 Claude Kleynhans
He ran the company Guwela Safari, which organized hunting trips where paying guests were promised a 100% success rate.