Written by Justine Price - These incredible events took place on an afternoon game drive, last week, with guests at Bumi Hills. Dean McGregor is the professional guide at Bumi Hills. Justine is his partner and here she narrates their description of what they witnessed on that incredible trip.
Photos - courtesy of Glenn Gibb - one of the guests on the drive that day.
We set off down the hill and drove straight onto the flood plains, which are getting smaller by the day with the rising waters of lake Kariba. Here we found a large herd of Buffalo grazing on the shore line. Dean stopped the vehicle so that we could all enjoy the sighting.
After a few minutes we noticed two Bulls, one much older than the other, having a brawl in the distance. A buffalo bull's horns are fused at the base forming one continuous, bony shield, referred to as a “boss”. The sound of these two bulls' bosses coming together was incredible, and very loud. They continued to fight for some time and so Dean decided to get us a little bit closer. We could see blood coming from the older bull. When these creatures fight its always head to head and the curved ends of the horns had torn into the older bull's flesh leaving some nasty wounds. The frantic fighting continued and the younger bull forced the pair of them into the lake on a few occasions.
At this stage Dean was explaining to us that this was one of the best bull fights he had witnessed in his 22 years as a pro guide. The older buffalo was getting very tired and the younger and stronger buffalo eventually managed to get his horn hooked under the old man’s front leg. This seemed to cause some pain, for the old bull cried out, bringing a few of the other buffalo’s closer to the action to see what was happening. Again he was pushed into the lake and as we watched on in absolute amazement a 12 foot crocodile appeared on the scene and attacked the old buffalo who was by now bleeding badly.
The Bulls broke apart with the younger one, also bleeding from various wounds, coming out of the water only to be instantly infested with oxpecker birds. He was breathing heavily and when he came close he gave us a look that gave the impression that if he was not so tired he would have liked to have had a go at us, but he slowly started to walk away. We continued to watch the old buffalo with the crocodile. The crocodile had managed to grab onto his ear. A test of the bull's remaining strength ensued. He very slowly made his way into shallow water, as we looked on in amazement. Finally after literally dragging the crocodile for quite a distance this very old, very tired Buffalo managed to shake his huge heavy head and rid himself of the scaly reptile, rushing out the water only to be chased off into the thick bushes by the younger bull who had had a chance to recuperate. It was the most incredible half an hour of holding our breath and the occasional "oh my gosh!" coming out of various mouths in the vehicle, as myself and 9 Bumi guests sat in stark silence and amazement. As the buffalos disappeared into the push and the crocodile counted his losses, Dean responded by saying, "I think we deserve sundowners - any one for a G & T?"
Some pictures of the event
|The buffalo bulls take up the fight|
|They edge closer to the water|
|A 12 foot crocodile latches onto the old bull's ear|
|Wrestling to get the crocodile off|
|Just before the old bull let out one last big effort to shake himself free of the crocodile|
|The old bull, having escaped the jaws of the crocodile, emerges from the water and is covered in Ox Peckers before being chased off into the bush by the young bull.|
NATURE IS TOUGH!