Scientific name: Bubalus bubalis

 

What makes it special: This animal is divided into two main categories depending on its habitat. The river buffalo, that spends the majority of its time in clear waters and the swamp buffalo, which spend most its time coating itself in the mud.

 

Recommended caliber: Being a rather large animal, the minimum caliber rifle for a kill is a 338 WM mag. But to higher the chances of an effective kill, a 375 caliber or bigger is recommended. 

Water Buffalo – River and Swamp Buffalos

The water buffalo was domesticated almost 5000 years ago and is mainly favored in Asian countries for helping around farming activities. The water buffalo is a healthy food resource, its milk and protein has been classified as richer than the domesticated cow. It has unique adaptive features and can comfortably survive throughout the different seasons of varying temperatures between 0C-30C by thermo regulating its body, using water and mud. Sexual dimorphism is seen in the water buffalo, with the male being almost twice the size as the female.

 

Hunting method

Hunting involves finding fresh tracks left on cross roads or on level ground near swamps and thus leading to spotting of the water buffalo. Spotting the water buffalo on warmer days, with harsher sunlight can be quite easy as it usually spot feeds the whole day within a small area. On cooler days the water buffalo travels for miles, making it a lot more difficult to find and hunt. When sensing danger the water buffalo flees and run into thickets to hide. Sometimes the water buffalo will charge and outrunning it on foot is impossible, it will even attack a vehicle if provoked. Hunters should avoid going after a wounded water buffalo in thickets, a charge can be fatal. For an instant kill, a lung shot at the base area of the neck is recommended.

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Appearance

The water buffalo takes on the color shading of black/grey when they are in full maturity, at birth they are light grey. Albinos occur in certain groupings and later they take on a charcoal grey appearance. Generally the water buffalo has large long horns that grows downwards and backwards and tend to curve towards one another. They have short tails that are rarely seen, especially when covered in mud. They have long necks, which allow them to keep their heads out of the water or mud.

 

Habitat

The water buffalo originates from the Indian subcontinent, Vietnam, peninsula, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. They tend to prefer wet lowlands, swamps and creeks however they are quick to adapt to extremely wet or dry cold temperatures. 

 

Diet

The diet of the water buffalo mainly compromises of aquatic plants like reed, water hyacinth, marsh grasses, banana, cassava, maize oats, peanut, sorghum, soy beans and turnips. 

 

Predators
The main predators of the water buffalo is wild cats and crocodiles.

 

Life cycle

The female river buffalo sexually matures at the age of one and a half while the male matures at around the age of three. The male swamp buffalo are allowed to engage in reproductive activity around the age of three, while the female sexually matures at the age of five. The gestation period of the water buffalo is between 320 and 334 days. Their life span is around 30 years.

 

Behavior

The most distinctive behavior of the water buffalo is that it keeps itself submerged in water or in mud as a means of temperature control. The river buffalo is mostly reared for its meat and milk. Its counterpart the swamp buffalo has large wide feet and is used as a worker in plowing fields, specifically paddy fields. In the wild, the water buffalo tends to make small groupings of 10 to 20 individuals and the herd is led by a cow. When facing danger the herd forms a semicircle around the calves to protect them. Though not territorial the water buffalo does engage in fights for mating rights, however they usually avoid fights by using visual displays, flanging dust in the air and by nodding and kicking.

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Animal Facts

Weight
Male: around 800 kg.

Female: around 500 kg.

 

Height

Male: around 135 cm.

Female: around 125 cm.

 

Habitat

They tend to prefer wet lowlands, swamps and creeks and they are quick in adapting to extremely wet or dry cold temperatures. 

 

Diet

Its diet consists of reed, water hyacinth, marsh grasses, banana, cassava, maize oats, peanut, sorghum, soy beans and turnips. 

 

Predators

Wild cats and Crocodiles.

 

Life cycle

Their lifespan is placed around 30 years.

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