Wild Water Buffalo

Wild Water Buffalo                    Bubalus arnee

Type of Animal:
Wild Cattle

Wetlands, swamps, wet grassland, subtropical forest, tropical forest, river valleys, marshes, rivers, ponds, riverine forest, wet savanna, floodplains, wet woodland

India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia. Formerly found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Laos, & Vietnam.

Larger than domestic form. Bulls larger than cows. Horns heavy at base & are largest of any bovid. Cows have smaller, shorter horns. Skin color ash gray to black. Ears rather small w/ tuft on forehead. Bushy tail. 2nd largest wild cattle species.

Aquatic plants, grasses, herbs, sedges, bark, fruit, agricultural crops, wood, stems, leaves

Status in Wild:

Translocation into areas where there is less risk of hybridizing w/ domestic & feral stock.

Herds consist of up to 30 cows, calves, & juveniles up to 3 years old, sometimes accompanied by a bull. Bulls found in bachelor herds of up to 10 animals. Older bulls solitary.

Additional Info:


Male-2645 lbs
Female-1764 lbs
Young-750-900 lbs

10 months

Male-6.23 ft
Female-4.92 ft

Body Length:
Male-8.86 ft
Female-7.87 ft

Life Span: 
15 years in wild, 25 years in captivity

Tail Length:
2.62 ft, same for both sexes

Main predators are tigers, dholes, black bears, & crocodiles. Leopards & clouded leopards prey on calves.

Endangered due to hunting for meat/hide/horns/sport, wetland degradation, habitat loss, interbreeding w/ domestic /feral stock, diseases/parasites transmitted from cattle/domestic water buffalo, competition w/ domestic stock, & persecution as crop pests.

Bulls sometimes fight to the death.

While big, they can be surprisingly fast.

Cows breed every 2 years.

They’re the main ancestor to the domestic water buffalo.

Roll in mud to keep cool & protect themselves from biting insects.

Sexually mature at 1.5-2 years old.

Fun Fact(s):
Known as “living tractor of the east.”

Unlike domestic water buffalo, these animals highly unpredictable.

They often spend several hours of the day in the water, hence the name.

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