Zim buffalo loiter near OK stores

2016-01-20 12:08

Harare - Remember the herd of buffalo chased into Victoria Falls by a pride of lions just over a year ago?

Two buffalo bulls strayed into Zimbabwe's flagship tourist resort again this month, this time setting up home near a local supermarket.

The Bhejane Trust, a conservation group active in Victoria Falls and Hwange, said the two bulls took up residence in a patch of bush, near the police station and OK shop, and stayed there for a few days.

Getting them out of the town alive, and without harming anyone proved a team effort.

Well-known Zimbabwean vet Chris Foggin darted them, according to the trust. One of the bulls did not go down as smoothly as might have been hoped.

"The first buffalo ran across the main Vic Falls-Bulawayo road in town and collapsed only yards from a rather startled group of [stone curio] carvers," said the trust in a post to Facebook.

"When the cavalry arrived the carvers took great and vociferous delight in helping load the buffalo on a trailer so it could be released in the park," it added.

Both bulls were safely released. Conservationists were pleased that the animals were relocated, instead of being shot, as might have happened in the past.

Trevor Lane of the Bhejane Trust told News24 that passers-by had not actually seen the bulls, even though they were close to the road.

"No one saw them. They were in thick bush. We've had a bit of rain recently. They were just lying there."

Buffalo could be dangerous, especially if they had been wounded. 

Lane said it was unlikely that the bulls would have hurt anyone.

"There was nothing wrong with them. Old bulls are very mellow," he said, though he conceded it might have been a problem if dogs had come across them.

The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust said two safari companies had helped move the buffalo.

A 68-year-old Zimbabwean woman was attacked and killed by a buffalo in Tsholotsho, southern Zimbabwe, in October.

The animal had previously been wounded with a spear.

In December 2014, rangers had to drive a whole herd of buffalo out of Victoria Falls town after a pride of lions chased them there.

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