River Water Buffalo

ANIMAL:
River Water Buffalo            Bubalus bubalis

Type of Animal:
Cattle

Habitat:
Farms, rivers, swamps, ponds, wetlands, tropical forest, subtropical forest, cities, wet grassland, marshes, riverine forest, wet woodland, river valleys, floodplains, wet savanna

Location(s):
Domesticated worldwide. Feral populations in Australia, India, Bangladesh, Indochina, Tunisia, & parts of C. & S. America. This type appears most in India, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, Australia, C. & S. America, the U.S., & Egypt.

Appearance:
Bulls larger than cows, both sexes have horns, Anatolian/Turkish breed dark-grey to black w/ white markings on head/tail w/ sickle/crescent-shaped horns, Australian breed grey or black, Egyptian breed grey-black w/ short curved horns, Kundi breed black w/ small spirally twisted horns, Jafarabadi breed black w/ large droopy horns, Malaysian breed grey or white w/ crescent horns, Murrah breed jet-black w/ short, inward curving horns, Nili-Ravi breed black w/ small curly horns & white markings on legs/face/forehead/muzzle/tail, Pandharpuri breed black w/ white markings on forehead/legs/tail switch along w/ sword-shaped horns.

Food/Diet:
Aquatic plants, grasses, herbs, wood, stems, leaves, sedges, bark, fruit, alfalfa & lucerne hay, oats, reeds, roots, sugarcane, soybeans, peanuts, cassava, dates, maize, turnips, citrus pulp, vegetables

Status in Wild:
Domesticated

Conservation:
Breeding on farms. Bred for milk/meat/hides/draft. Can be hybridized w/ Swamp Water Buffalo. Bred on some ranches for commercial hunting.

Lifestyle:
Cows, calves, & juveniles live in herds of 10-40 animals, sometimes w/ a bull. Bulls & steers (castrated males) live in bachelor herds of 5-20 animals.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Bull
Female-Cow
Young-Calf
Group-Herd

Weight:
Male-1500-2200 lbs
Female-1200-1600 lbs
Young-480-685 lbs

Gestation:
10.5 months 

Life Span:
25-40 years

Height:
Male-4.66 ft
Female-4.33 ft

Body Length:
Male-11.8 ft
Female-7.87 ft

Tail Length:
2.5 ft

Main predators are tigers, lions, bears, crocodilians, wolves, komodo dragons, dholes, & dingoes. Feral dogs, leopards, jaguars, & clouded leopards prey on calves.

First domesticated in India about 5,000 years ago.

Sexually mature at 1.5-2 years.

Humans depend on this animal, along w/ the Swamp Water Buffalo more than any other domestic animal.

Fun Fact(s):
Traditional mozzarella cheese made from water buffalo milk.

Often called “living tractors” cause of its use in plowing/transportation.

Much more docile than wild counterparts, though moms still highly protective of calves & bulls can be somewhat unpredictable (especially during rut).

Meat is said to be leaner than beef.

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