It was difficult to find exact information about these animals because another kept getting mixed in with the searches. Only members of the African genera of Syncerus and the Asian genera of Bubalus are considered true buffalo. American Buffalo or BISON are actually the genera of Bovina. We’ll get to that one another day, but we’re working with the true buffalos this time.
I’ll get right into the conservation status before doing a fact list since the information was all over the place. As I said, bison kept getting included, so I had trouble getting a clear picture. From what I could see, most of the species are listed as ‘least concerned’ and not at risk out extinction. Some have minor threats due to crossbreeding with domestic cows and other related species. Yet, they have not lost enough numbers to put them in the endangered category. The possible exception is the wild water buffalo, which I read a few times is hitting endangered levels.
So, what are some facts?
- The Cape Buffalo is consider one of the ‘Big Five’ animals of Africa, which was a hunting term depicting the most difficult animals to catch. The others are lion, leopard, rhino, and elephant.
- Water buffalo can grow to 8-9 feet long and 1,500-2,600 pounds. African buffalos are smaller, but still big.
- Water buffalo have wide hooves to prevent them from sinking into the mud at the bottom of the ponds and lakes they swim in.
- African buffalo do not swim as much as water buffalo, but they never stray further than 12 miles away from a water source.
- Water buffalo herds are separated by gender while African buffalos have mixed gender herds. The former has female herds of up to 30 with calves while male herds stay around 10 members. The latter can have male-only herds, but those consist of older animals.
- African buffalo vote to see where the herd goes. When it is time to move, they stand and turn in the direction they want to go. The direction with the most votes wins and the female leader will head that way.
- Buffalos have smooth tongues.
- African buffalos have a memory that is second only to the elephant. They also have a reputation for vengeance. Injured buffalo have ambushed the hunters who have attacked them in the past. They return to their tracks and wait for the hunters to come back. African buffalo have even attacked young lions from prides that have attacked and killed members of their herd.
- African buffalos kill more humans than any other animal.
Let’s get the pictures and videos. (The first five are the genera of Bubalus and the last two are Syncerus.)
BATTLE AT KRUGER! This is actually a rather infamous video that involves a buffalo calf and a real back-and-forth scene. In fact, this is a considered a very rare event of nature. It can be rough to watch even though it’s not bloody. I won’t give spoilers though.