Tracking Dangerous Animals


In normal circumstances Buffalo are generally inoffensive and usually rather avoid confrontation. They are inquisitive, and individuals may break away from a herd to examine vehicles. If disturbed, they will race back to rejoin the herd, which is quick to stampede. Their tendency to stampede when frightened, often in unexpected directions, call be highly dangerous. Cows with small calves, old solitary bulls, bulls that have been hunted and wounded in the past, and those who are harassed can be dangerous and may charge without provocation. It is also dangerous to stumble across and startle Buffaloes resting in a thick patch of bush, since their reactions can be unpredictable. Avoid thickets and reeds in or near rivers. When you encounter Buffalo, stand still and move away slowly. If an aggressive Buffalo charges, it will complete the charge, so do not stand still. Try to climb a tree, since you won’t outrun it. The alarm calls of oxpeckers or egrets and the breaking of branches may be the first sign of a charging Buffalo, so be alert for those signs. A wounded Buffalo is extremely dangerous, and may even double back and lie in wait for its pursuer. When charging, only a fatal shot will stop it. While tracking Buffalo, remember that Lions may also be on the spoor and that you may well encounter the Lion before you find the Buffalo.