ANIMAL: Cape Buffalo Syncerus caffer Type of Animal: Wild Cattle Habitat: Savannah, grassland, swamps, floodplains, woodlands, forest edge Location(s): Much of Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding deserts & many forests Appearance: Largest African bovine, bulls larger than cows, both sexes have curvy horns, bull horns thicker/longer, dark brown to black, droopy ears, bulls have 2 in thick neck hide. Food/Diet: Grass Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks Lifestyle: Herds of 50-500 animals. Some mega-herds of over 1,000. Some older bulls solitary. Bachelor herds also occur. Additional Info: Called: Male-Bull Female-Cow Young-Calf Group-Herd Weight: Male-2,000 lbs Female-1,700 lbs Young-530 lbs Gestation: 11.5 months Life Span: 20 years in wild, up to 30 years in captivity Height: Male-5-5.5 ft Female-4.5 ft Body Length: Male-10-11 ft Female-7 ft Tail Length: Male-40 in Female-35 in Main predators are lions, hyenas, wild dogs, & crocodiles. Cheetahs & leopards prey on calves. Often accompanied by birds such as oxpeckers & cattle egrets, which feed on insects in grass & on skin. Almost never found far from water. Immune to bovine sleeping sickness, which affects domestic cattle. However, susceptible to other diseases, such as bovine tuberculosis & foot-and-mouth disease. A rinderpest (cattle plague) epidemic in 1890’s took drastic toll on the population. Sometimes persecuted due to crop damage & potential to spread disease to livestock. Sometimes competes w/ domestic cattle for grazing. Calves born in rainy seasons. Fun Fact(s): Known to have great memories. Besides being extremely dangerous when wounded, cows extremely protective of calves & solitary bulls often very temperamental. Due to their danger, they’ve been called “Black Death” or “widowmaker.” Some estimates believe they kill as many as 200 people a year. They’ve been known to kill lion cubs as a preventative strategy. One of five members of Africa’s Big Five (other 4 being lion, elephant, rhino, & leopard). One of the most dangerous animals to hunt & believed to have killed more big-game hunters than any other African animal. Extremely dangerous when wounded.