Five African tyrants
In Africa, hunting culture prevails among white colonists, and the most difficult and dangerous large mammals to capture are the “Five Majors of Africa”. These five animals are elephants, black rhinos, African buffalos, and Africa. Lion and leopard. In the era when the awareness of wildlife protection was still low, white people believed that hunting large animals could show their courage, strength, and resourcefulness. They will take away ivory, rhino horns, animal skins and African buffalo horns to show off as trophies and memorials.
Among these hunting objects, which animal is the most lethal to hunters? Is it a huge African elephant? Or a fierce lion? No, the most troublesome thing is the African buffalo! Although the male African buffalo weighs about 750 kg and the body length of 3 meters is not worth mentioning in front of the African elephant, their offensive and defensive behavior is unpredictable, and the African buffalo is extremely good at ambushes and side swings that are often fatal to hunters. !
The writer Price, who served as a correspondent for the National Geographic Society, described the African buffalo as follows: Bison is not only irritable, but also very smart. If it can’t get it from the front, it will turn around you, looking for opportunities to give it from the back. Come here. So many hunters think it is the most dangerous large beast on the African continent. Elephants are bigger than bisons, but elephants are sometimes gentle, while bisons are never gentle. Some big beasts, such as rhinos, are short-sighted; some have poor ears; others have poor sense of smell. The bison not only sees far, hears truely, but also has a good sense of smell. To deal with certain beasts, you can dodge flexibly, but not to the bison. It reacts and moves very quickly. As soon as you turn around, it turns around. If you are thrown down by some beast and you pretend to be dead, it will walk away. But the bison won’t, it’s not satisfied with killing you, and it’s going to flatten you. It is willing to use its hoofs to tread the victim as thin as a French pie.
As the awareness of ecological protection is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, the current hunting behavior of the “Five Hundreds of Africa” is gradually turning into sightseeing programs. But commercial hunting still exists and is an important way for many African countries to earn income. If the number of hunting individuals is appropriate, the economic income can be invested in the protection of the ecological environment, and promote the development of the local economy, then commercial hunting can be an alternative way of protecting wildlife. But some opponents say that the number of large wild animals in Africa is shrinking day by day, the hunting industry has not played an effective protective role, and how the economic income of hunting is distributed is also a problem.
The African buffalo is a very socially conscious animal, no matter how many they are, most of them will form a group. Generally, the “resistance” of animals in groups to predators is limited to disturbing predators with body color contours and uniform actions, or yelling alarms when predators appear. But the African buffalo is very different. They will take the initiative to fight back against predators by virtue of their close united groups!
Generally, the African buffalo has a high-level cow as the team leader. If the single individual is hunted by the lion, it will do its best to shout (usually the target is the calf). At this time, it is not only the cow mother, but the whole Under the leadership of the “chiefwoman”, the herd will attack the predator. If the lions have not succeeded when the cattle arrive, they will inevitably be scattered and disturbed by the angry cattle, and the chance of successful hunting is extremely small.
But this is not the biggest nightmare of the lion group. If the lion group hunts down the calf and does not meet it in time, the African buffalo will take the initiative to attack the lion if it has not fully retreated after the herd arrives. Not only do they use “giant horns” to force lions to take refuge in trees, they can even attack lion cubs that are alone! A group of African buffaloes drove the lions to the top of the tree and formed an “iron bucket formation” underneath. Whenever a lion falls, there is a risk of being crushed by the hooves of the hooves and being broken by the horns. This situation is not uncommon. This makes the African buffalo win the title of “grass thug”, which is also a boast. In order to hunt down these rampant “thugs,” even the lions who are too lazy to die will participate in hunting. These are rare spectacles in the African grasslands.
Mobile meal ticket
The African buffalo is a large herbivore with extremely high feeding efficiency. They almost eat “no grass” wherever they go. Therefore, the African buffalo will not stay in one place for a long time, which brings an excellent opportunity for the grassland to spread seeds. , It also brought “mobile meal tickets” to some carnivores. Among them, there are naturally the aforementioned lions, and there are also spotted hyenas that are more “everything” than the African lions, and the Nile crocodile, which can kill African buffalo one by one through ambushes in the water. “Looking at the leopard and so on. African buffaloes migrate all the way and feed the earth all the way.
However, the African buffalo is also facing an unprecedented crisis. The biggest threat to it is not commercial hunting in Africa, not the predation of lions and hyenas, nor is it regarded as bush meat by the aborigines… but the rinderpest brought about by livestock raised by humans. , Bovine tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, which have dealt a serious blow to African bison. According to statistics in 1999, the number of African buffaloes was about 813,000, while the current figures given by the World Conservation Union are about 400,000. In other words, their number has been reduced by half in two decades.
May Mother Earth bless these big guys and let the “bulls” run on the vast African savannah forever!