Nairobi Buff

By Will Knocker:

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Buffalo are doing very well in the Park, increasing in numbers over time. 314 were counted in April, but there are probably more in these pictures than this number indicates…

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NNP is perfect habitat for buffaloes, containing plenty of water & grazing as it does, although by the time the Park was founded in 1946 there were none: they had all been shot. So the present population are all immigrants!

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In the abscence of zootic disease (& this will become more of a risk in the future as wildlife is confined strictly to the Park area & numbers increase) & droughts, buffalo numbers should impact positively on the quality of grazing in the Park, where grass in a normal year of rain is in super-abundance…

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One of the charms of visiting the Park is to find one of the big herds (of which there are several) & to ‘commune’ with these wild cattle as they go about their business from the safety of one’s vehicle, which they usually ignore. To watch the social interactions, especially amongst the massive bulls, is to appreciate the principles of bovine society  & mating rights, which go to the the biggest, baddest males…..

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As buffaloes have been extirpated through much of Africa through hunting, it is a real privilege to watch these massive, gentle grazers going about their business, peacefully in the wild….

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Part of another herd in the middle of the city, on the plains below the Ngong Hills: NNP is truly a national treasure.

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