African or Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

african buffalo

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These guys are just plain mean. Buffalo and Hippo account for more human deaths and injury than all the big cats put together! Whilst human death and injury from hippos tends to be as a result of a hippo panicking if a human gets between it and its waterhole, human death and injury by Buffalo is simply because they are highly unpredictable and volatile creatures.

One minute they can look kind of mellow, and the next they can explode into a behemoth intent on mowing you down and goring you to death. Not surprising then, that they are known as the "black death" in Africa and their danger is one of the reasons they are classed as one of the "big five" (alongside lion, leaopard, elephant and rhino) - but in fact buffalos are the most dangerous of the five, not that you'd want to mess with any of them!

However, given all that, there is nothing that moves me more than seeing the incredible loyalty that these animals show to one another on display when they all turn on a preditor who is intent on killing one of their number. Of course, the word "loyalty" is a human term and a highly unscientific way to describe what these animals do. They are highly protective of anything carrying their genes, is probably a more likely explanation! Buffalo will actually mob lions and other predators, something that is fascinating to watch!

Below are some excellent resources about buffalo:

Birding Out 'n' About Natural World Misc Alamy

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