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The African buffalo, affalo, nyati, Mbogo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. It is not closely related to the slightly larger wild Asian water buffalo, but its ancestry remains unclear. Owing to its unpredictable nature which makes it highly dangerous to humans, it has not been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the domestic Asian water buffalo.

The African buffalo is one of the most successful grazers in Africa. It lives in swamps, floodplains as well as mopane grasslands and forests of the major mountains of Africa. Buffalo prefer habitat with dense cover such as reeds and thickets. Herds have also been found in open woodland and grassland. While not particularly demanding with regard to habitat, they require water daily and therefore depend on perennial sources of water. Like the Plains zebra, the buffalo can subsist on tall, coarse grasses. Herds of buffalo will reduce grass level to the height that is preferred by selective grazers. When feeding, the buffalo makes use of its tongue and wide incisor row to eat grass more quickly than most other African herbivores. Buffalo do not stay on trampled or depleted areas for long.

Cape Buffalo
Serengeti Bueffel1
African Buffalo

Habitat

Grasslands throughout Africa.

Size

Height: 1-1.7m(3.3-5.6ft)

Weight: 250-455kg (550-1,000 lb)

Diet

Vegatation

Weapons and Traits

Has short, curved horns, is quite bulky, can be very aggressive.

Battle Status

On hold against the Moose

Other than humans, African buffalo have few predators and are capable of defending themselves against (and killing) lions. Lions do kill and eat buffalo regularly, but it typically takes multiple lions to bring down a single adult buffalo. However there have been several incidents in which lone adult male lions have been able to successfully bring down large bulls. The Nile crocodile will typically attack only old solitary animals and young calves. The cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena are a threat only to newborn calves, though spotted hyenas have been recorded to kill full grown bulls on occasion.

Buffalo mate and give birth strictly during the rainy seasons. Birth peak takes place early in the season while mating peaks later. A bull will closely guard a cow that comes into heat, while keeping other bulls at bay.This is difficult as cows are quite evasive and attract many males to the scene. By the time a cow is in full estrous only the most dominant bull in the herd/subherd is there.

Cows first calve at five years of age, after a gestation period of 11.5 months. Newly born calves remain hidden in vegetation for the first few weeks while being nursed occasionally by the mother before joining the main herd. Calves are held in the centre of the herd for safety. The maternal bond between mother and calf lasts longer than in most bovids. However when a new calf is born the bonding ends and the mother will keep her previous offspring out of the way with horn jabs. Nevertheless the yearling will still tag along for another year or so. Males leave their mothers when they are two years old and join the bachelor groups.

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