Motorists baffled as buffalo calf sucks on tyres

2014-12-29 00:00

GUESTS at Kruger Park could not believe their eyes when they saw a bewildered buffalo calf sucking on the undercarriages or tyres of a number of vehicles.

Johan Breytenbach of Doringkloof in Centurion said he was dumbstruck when he and his son, Rohan (16), encountered the calf on December 16 on the tarred road south of the Satara rest camp.

The small animal stood with its head pressed against the front of a game ranger’s vehicle.

“To get away from the little buffalo the driver suddenly reversed but the calf merely starting chasing the bakkie. The driver later stopped and the buffalo again stood directly next to the vehicle,” said Breytenbach.

The driver again reversed to “get away” from the buffalo but the animal kept on chasing the vehicle and stood against it as soon as it stopped.

At one stage, according to Breytenbach, the driver simply drove away in the direction of Satara. The calf immediately walked towards a white Hyundai 4x4 and pushed its head against the rear tyre.

“It then dawned upon us that he was looking for a teat to drink from.

“The flustered driver of the Hyundai also tried to get away from the calf as quickly as possible, but the calf ran after the vehicle.”

After about 400 m the calf gave up and tried its luck with a Jeep.

“The animal again approached the tyre and apparently looking for a teat, started to suck on the tyre’s valve.”

The driver of the Jeep asked Breytenbach what she should do.

“As visitors are strictly forbidden to leave our vehicles, or to give such an animal food, water or milk, I told her the best would be to also drive away from the buffalo calf while I and another vehicle would drive away in the opposite direction so that the calf would not see her car.”

When the calf could not see any vehicle close to him, it walked around in the veld, bellowing.

“The calf must have been very distressed. Although it was immensely disturbing, one should not get involved.”

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