Four new Cape buffalo arrive at Howletts
On the 3rd of November 2021, we welcomed four female Cape buffalo to Howletts.
Arriving from Austria, they had to spend a month in quarantine, giving them plenty of time to settle into their new surroundings and routine at the park. Our keepers have got to know them well during this time and they all have big and very different personalities.
Since their quarantine ended, the herd have slowly been allowed access to the paddocks, enabling them to build their confidence and become familiar with the sights and sounds of the park. They now have full access to all parts of their enclosure and are making the most of all their new space.
One of four distinct subspecies of African buffalo, Cape buffalo reside in grassland habitats from Southern to East Africa. The IUCN Red List classifies them as Near Threatened, with 400,000 individuals left in the wild and populations decreasing. Their main threats are habitat loss and conflict with humans.
They are formidable and heavy animals - with adults weighing up to 900kg - and are known to be grumpy and unpredictable when faced with any potential threat.
Instantly recognisable by their fused horns, which form a broad shield on their forehead called a ‘boss’, they spend most of the year in herds of anywhere between 50 and 500, but congregate in thousands in the Serengeti during the rainy season.