MTB festival: stray buffalo no longer threat

2012-04-20 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s biggest mountain biking event, the Mr Price Karkloof Classic MTB festival, begins this weekend.

The event will go on as planned without any danger for participants after a buffalo bull, reportedly attracted by the grass close to Karkloof Falls, was spotted wandering around the Sappi forests. It had come from the nearby Karkloof Spa reserve and was safely removed from the area this week.

Rangers from the spa darted the one-ton buffalo bull with the help of 12 men, loaded it on to a stretcher and then took it to a new boma where it will be securely managed.

Said management forester Bernie Herbst: “It is a wild animal, and it deserves respect. He was pretty chilled while he was here but there was no way of predicting what would have happened when the thousands of mountain bikers arrived.”

Herbst added: “Six months ago there were two buffalo that came across from the reserve to graze, and they also had to be darted and taken back to the reserve.”

Dave Macleod, media officer for the event, said: “There are no fears of something like this happening this weekend. All the buffalo in that area have been taken care of.”

The three-day event is due to attract more than 3 000 bikers from all over the country.

There are lots of exciting additions to this year’s event, including a new 20 km ride which has been added.

“Mountain biking is growing in the country and this is the mecca of all biking events,” said Macleod.

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