Wednesday, May 27, 2015

African Buffalo vs the Eland.

The African or Cape buffalo is just one of those wild animals you do not want to encounter while taking a walk somewhere in Africa and for wherever reason if that ever happens,then you better have a tree in sight and close proximity to climb. They are extremely bad tempered and anything they view as a threat and that is especially humans and lions,then be prepared to face grave repercussions because the one and only plan they have is wiped you off the face of the planet,literally. They're brave, resilient and more than half the time will always face their opponent face to face and that sometimes especially when isolated from their herds or weaker for some reason plays against them and no better predator has mastered that,than lions.

On the other hand,the Eland which is the largest antelope on the planet,is always cautious and wary and like most of the smaller antelopes in Africa,the Eland hardly grazes for more than five minutes without looking out for predators.A mature male Eland weighs up to 2,000 lbs which is about the same for a mature buffalo,but the advantage the Eland has over the Cape buffalo is it's wary nature added with speed.Even with the same weight,the Eland is just way faster than a Cape buffalo and that is a big challenge for lions.

The Eland still does have some weaknesses over the Cape buffalo and some of them are living in much smaller herds and it isn't hard to find most just wandering on their own,which is what most predators aim for,especially lions.Cape buffaloes can have as many as 300 animals in one herd,and are very effective especially in protecting their young and maybe that's why so many of them exist today,despite so much predation.

It's pretty clear just looking at the numbers and obviously numbers don't lie,is that the disadvantage the Eland have in protecting mostly their young which is the most dangerous times for any wild animal in the African wild,might have led to so many not making it to maturity.Am not sure between the two species,who's more suited for survival in the dangerous African wild and am sure the debate will continue.

I thought it's interesting that the savannah buffalo is almost twice as big compared to the forest buffalo and the forest Eland is larger than the common Eland,mostly found in the African savannah.A fully grown male common Eland still weighs up to 2,000 lbs,while the forest counterpart might way about 200 lbs more.

It's always important to know too,that most forest animals in Africa,like the forest elephant,buffalo or eland are mostly found in Central and West Africa while their savannah counterparts are mostly found in East and Southern Africa.The confusion comes for instance when you find buffalo or elephant in forested areas of East or Southern Africa,and in that case they're still savannah animals.