When Cape Buffalo Attack

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When cape buffalo attack! Similar to bison, the cape buffalo is a massive predator found in Africa. Its tusks make it a ferocious hunter.

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The Cape buffalo, also known as the African Buffalo, is a massive bovine found in Sub-Saharan Africa. This creature is part of the “big five” along with lions, rhinos, leopards and elephants. The term was coined by big-game hunters to describe the African-native animals most difficult to hunt on foot. When it comes to Cape buffalo, the description is more than fitting. These creatures are large, exceptionally strong and notoriously aggressive. Males of the nominate subspecies can weigh up to 2,200 pounds, stand nearly 6 feet at the shoulder and measure over 11 feet. Their coats are black or dark brown. They have stocky bodies and short, thickset legs. The front hooves are wider, a necessary adaptation to support the front of the buffalo which is heavier and more powerful than the rear. A distinguishing feature among adult males is that the horns are very close together at the base. This forms a bone shield, called a boss, which is arguably the buffalo’s most prolific weapon. From the boss, the horns smoothly curve downwards and then upwards, with a possible incline towards the back or the front. The distance between the tips of the horns can exceed 5 feet. The horns are used by the beast to charge at and gore perceived threats. Cape buffalo are among the most dangerous creatures on the African continent, with hundreds of attack on humans being reported every year.

Cape buffalo are indigenous to Africa and the nominate subspecies, which is also the largest, can mainly be found in the south and east. Another subspecies is known as the African forest buffalo, or dwarf buffalo. Their color is usually red and they’re the smallest subspecies. Dwarf buffalo inhabit the forests of Central and West Africa. The Sudanese buffalo is sometimes regarded as an intermediate species between the previous two and its found in West Africa. The Nile buffalo typically inhabits the savannas of Central Africa. Cape buffalo have been described as being among the most successful grazers on the continent. They can be found in swamps, floodplains, grasslands as well as in the forests of Africa’s major mountains. They live in hierarchical herds, which can number over 1,000 members and are led by dominant bulls. Cape buffalo don’t have many natural predators with lions being their most common enemy. However, since the buffalo is stronger and larger, it often takes a coordinated attack from the entire pride to take down a single individual. There’ve been only a few cases in which a single male lion has successfully taken down a Cape buffalo. During attacks, lion prides tend to isolate individuals since taking on the herd is extremely risky and may result in heavy losses. In one particular incident, dubbed the Battle at Kruger, the herd intervened and protected a calf both from lions and a crocodile attack.

Since Cape buffalo are known to basically ragdoll full-grown lions, it’s not hard to imagine the amount of damage they can inflict on us. They’re not only incredibly strong but also notoriously resilient. There’ve been reports of buffalo that kept going a few hundred feet after being shot clean through the heart. They can charge their targets at nearly 35 miles per hour so outrunning them isn’t really an option. You’d essentially be dealing with well-over 1,000 pounds of muscle coming at you bone-shield-first. If the initial impact somehow doesn’t kill you, the buffalo might gore you on the ground or launch you in the air. The horns can cause mortal damage to bones and internal organs. That being said, buffalo don’t even need to use their horns and may choose to trample you to death. Under their hooves, you’d essentially be turned into a mangled mass of broken bones and torn tissue. All this type of damage can be delivered by a single individual, but you’d likely have to deal with others in the herd. Cape buffalo are well-known for their altruism and will respond to the distress call of a herd member. They stick together, with calves gathered in the middle, and mob predators, trampling them or stabbing them with their horns. There’ve been a number of incidents in which they’ve killed lions or chased them up trees and kept them there for hours. When dealing with a herd of the massive beasts, there’s also the danger of getting caught in a stampede, which can end your life rather swiftly. By reputation, the Cape buffalo is one of Africa’s most terrifying animals. According to some estimates, they trample, gore and kill more than two hundred people every year.

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