The kaffir buffalo
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There are animals, such as antelopes and gazelles, which have become famous due to their beauty. Others, such as lions, call attention due to their bravery and proud pose. Finally, there are the giants, such as elephants and giraffes, which are impressive due to their colossal proportions. However, there is an African creature that, regardless of their size, demeanor and physical appearance, is famous among all hunters and zoologists, precisely because of how danger it is; that is, the kaffir buffalo, the bovine of the savannah. It is known that this herbivore has caused more victims among its natural enemies – including humans – than any other wild beast, apparently more aggressive and uncontrollable.
For European and American hunters in the search of adventurous excitement in Africa, the buffalo has always constituted a sought after piece. If the hunter does not succeed in killing the buffalo with its first shot, its bound tracking becomes extremely dangerous. The wounded buffalo retreats into the most impenetrable bushes and always tries to surround the hunter to attack him from the back in a place where visibility and movements are limited.
When loading, the wild beast, which can weigh up to a ton, advances in a straight line, breaking through the bushes along the way. In comparison to bulls, the buffalo always keeps its head and snout up, so as not to lose the smell of the victim. His acute hearing and keen eyesight complete the aggressor’s weapons, along with an unexpected agility in the beast’s volume. Its horns, extremely massive, form a helmet on top of its forehead, which then curve down and unto the side into two lateral sharp points. It takes just a simple head bump with its central shield to kill a human. But the buffalo is used to picking on its enemies and stepping on them after betting them down. Moreover, it is said that with its tongue, rough as sandpaper, it may tear the skin and muscles of its victim.
After this description, we would think that the buffalo is a hateful being and worthy of the most ruthless persecution. Not at all, because this peaceful bovine only attacks when it is harassed, and behaves, in general, as a harmless and timid creature.
It was in a hot morning in the Great Rift Trench that we were filming white pelicans by the side of the lake when we came along half a dozen of the great male buffalos rolling around a muddy swamp.
Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente
Instructions: In the comprehension test circle one of the following letters: a, b, c.
1. They are famous animals due to their beauty:
b) Antelopes and gazelles.
2. The kaffir buffalo is known because of:
a) How dangerous it is.
b) Its size.
c) Its pose.
3. The buffalo is a:
4. Where does the buffalo live?
a) In the jungle.
b) In the desert.
c) In the savannah.
5. Why is a wounded buffalo dangerous?
a) Because it attacks from the back.
b) Because it attacks out in the open.
c) Because it becomes furious.
6. What weight can the buffalo reach?
a) A ton and a half.
b) A ton.
c) Half a ton.
7. How is the head of the buffalo positioned when attacking?
c) High up.
8. After beating down the enemy, the buffalo:
a) Steps over its enemy
b) Hits its enemy with its horns.
c) Kicks its enemy.
9. When does the buffalo attack?
a) When it is jealous.
b) In the spring.
c) When it is harassed.
10. Where were the six buffalos seen?
a) In the Rift Trench.
b) In South Africa.
c) In Tanzania.
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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain)
No 141, of 29-IX-1999
Plaza Playa de Aro, 3, 1º DO 44002-TERUEL