BUFFALO: Here Comes the Boss

Commonly nicknamed “Boss”, these large animals have been known to be very aggressive especially the African buffalo. We managed to brush up some intriguing facts you probably didn’t know.

Who runs the world? The African buffalo has been known to inflict serious injuries on lions. A lion may however attempt to attack it only in cases of extreme hunger when there’s no other alternative for a meal. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Survival or Extinction, that’s the question. The European and American bisons are considered rare and endangered compared to when they used to be abundant. Blame it on the increase of human populations across northern Europe and an increase in hunting around the 18th century. Fortunately for the African buffalo, the risk is lower. The water buffalo have been domesticated since 5000 BC in southern China, 3000 BC in the Indus valley and 2000 BC in other parts of the Middle East. They are endangered in the wild.

Longevity, longevity. The European bison can live up to 20 years in the wild and 40 years in captivity. The African buffalo can live up to 15 years in the wild. The water buffalo is largely domesticated and may live up to 25 years.

We aren’t twins. The European bison is also known as “Bison bonasus”. Back in Africa, the African buffalo goes by “Syncerus caffer”. The water buffalo is also known as “Bubalus bubalis” in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, South-east Asia, South America, Europe, among other places.

Age is just a number. The European bison is considered mature between 2 to 4 years old. Female African buffalos reach maturity at 5 years old while their male counterparts reach maturity at 8 years old. The water buffalo however reaches maturity pretty early at 18 months.

No, am not fat. The European bison weighs about 350 to 1,000kg and grows between 2.1 to 3.5m. African buffalos weigh approximately 300 to 900kg and grow between 2.1 to 3.4m. Water buffalos weigh an estimated 700 to 1,200kg and grow between 2.4 to 3m.

Veggies, anyone? The European bison enjoys leaves, twigs, bark and grass on a good day. African buffalos cherish different types of grass and other low-growing plants. The water buffalo is particular when it comes to green grass and water vegetation.

Want to drop by later? You will be sure to find the European bison in the forests and grasslands of Easter Europe or in the zoos. Catch sight of the African buffalo in grasslands and woodlands South of the Sahara desert mostly in eastern and southern Africa and some populations in Sudan and towards Guinea. The water buffalo lives in wet grasslands, swamps and lush river valleys in South America, Europe, Australia, Hawaii and the Middle East.

Read more:

  1. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals of the World by Tom Jackson, pages 420 and 481.