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Red-eyed Savanna Buffalo

Red-eyed Savanna Buffalo
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-02-19
Categories: Mammals, Savannah
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 400, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, Wild Life, Animal Portraits II, Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1, Intimate Portraits, !!! STOLEN PHOTOS !!! I [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-04 19:19
Viewed: 8521
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Savanna buffalo - Syncerus caffer

Photographed at the dry Thoboti riverbed, ±1.5km north of Sikwezele mountain, in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

This buffalo and two of his friends were laying casually ±15m away from "Scar Face" & his "True Love". While the two "amorous lions" were doing their part to ensure the survival of the lion species the three buffalo's could not care less what the lions were up to. However, the one time when "Scar Face" ripped loose with a mighty roar, it sure grabbed their interest and in a flash all 3 the buffalo's were standing on attention to 'salute' the King of Beasts.


Buffalo is massive and heavy build, with relatively short, stocky legs. Ears are large, fringed with hair, and hang below massive horns. Two distinct subspecies are recognised, the savanna (large, dark brown to black) and the forest (smaller, reddish brown).

Very wide sub-Saharan, savanna and lowland equatorial forests.

Both races occur in considerable numbers but have decrease in many areas, both from hunting and diseases.

Prefers open woodland savanna, with abundant food grasses and drinking water. It also occupies areas of montane forest (e.g. The Aberdares and Mount Kenya) in East Africa, but usually leaves cover to graze in clearings.

A highly gregarious, herding animal. They run in herds of several score to several thousands; large herds split into smaller groups, rejoining the main body later. Bachelor herds frequently encountered apart from main herd. Solitary bulls, often older, not unusual. Within herds, of mixed sex and age, adult bulls maintain a dominance hierarchy. Cows also establish a hierarchial system amongst themselves. They occupy clearly defined home ranges, which rarely overlap. Most feeding takes place at night. They usually drink in the early morning and late afternoon, lying up in the shade in the heat of day.

Predominantly grazers, showing a marked preference for grasses that grow in dense swards (buffalo pastures). In marshy areas, particularly during the dry season, they feed on reeds and other aquatic plants. They include a percentage of browse in their diet.

Seasonal breeders, but less pronounced in the forest where food supply is more constant. The majority of savanna calves are born in wet/warm seasons. Gestation period is about 340 days, with a calf averaging 40kg at birth. The cow remains within, or in close proximity to the herd when giving birth, and the calf is able to keep up within a few hours.

Source: "Field Guide to the larger Mammals of Africa" by Chris & Tilde Stuart, Struik Publishers.

Camera settings
ISO setting – 400
Aperture – f/6.3
Shutter speed – 1/160
Focal length – 500mm

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0

gelor, wuta, AndyB, SkyF, scottevers7, ellis49, jeanpaul, saguzar, h_sedghi, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Janice: Red-Eyed & Bloody noseloot 1 03-05 01:20
To manyee: Dripping snotloot 1 03-04 19:57
To manyee: Dripping snotloot 1 03-04 19:56
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-03-04 19:35]
  • [+]

Hi Loot,
Love the mug of this brute, from mud-caked horns to torn-up ears to dripping snot. What an expression.... and that red eye. : )
A fantastic capture that, like most of your posts, exudes wildlife in the wilderness, something that few of us have the privilege of witnessing or experiencing. Your story was most entertaining as well.
Excellent sharpness and light and POV. TFS. : )

Hi Loot,

Good picture of a tired old bull. His horn and face tell that he has seen it all. His dripping nose salutes you!
Good shot. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-03-04 23:19]
  • [+]

Hi Loot, I love the look of these animals, but I have heard that they are quite dangerous too, or am I getting them mixed up with another animal?
I love how he's looking at you and the dribble from his nose is priceless. Perhaps weeping from some of the SA scores in the weekend at rugby (My joke this time!)
Excellent all over,

Great shot Loot. He's looking right at you. Nice detail and lighting.

  • Great 
  • gelor Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 124 W: 3 N: 12] (523)
  • [2006-03-05 4:35]

Bonjour Loot,
Un superbe portrait de ce buffle ! Bien qu'il paraisse placide il serait très agressif et dangereux ? Belle lumière et superbe netteté. Félicitations.

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-03-05 10:01]

Bonne présentation Loot!

J'aime bien le contraste entre le sujet et le Bg et les détails sont excellents. Félicitations pour le bel éclairage.



  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-03-05 10:16]

it´s a nice head Loot,
special the red eye gives a very nice effect an the shot. the shot is well taken, good details, good colours, very good job,
gr. jaap

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-03-05 10:46]

Hello Loot , what a close up ,a beautifull
head good colours ,the red eye is very
special ,fantastic shot , greeting Teunie .

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-03-05 15:01]

Hi Loot,
Excellent capture!
Very good POV and expression, very natural colours,
the details are also excellent.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2006-03-05 17:20]

Hello Loot,
A great mug shot.
Excellent exposure,good sharp detail and great colours (red eyes n' ears).
Excellent work and a great note also.


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-05 18:07]

Hello Loot,
great sharp details, excellent POV. Superp crop and composition.

Hi Loot,
An excellent portrait shot on this buffalo. Good exposure on this shot with good colors thoughout the entire tonal range. A nice frame filling composition. Very good texture and detail in the face. A battle scarred face.

Hi Loot,
this was a powerful buffalo, nothing you play with.;-)
Good DOF and details. I like the POV and composition too.
Very well done.

Salut Loot
Très belle présentation les détails et les couleurs sont bons . cette bête a l'aur féroce on voit comme du sang dans ses yeux.
Bravo et merci

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-05-06 3:43]

Hello Loot
This photo makes me think of an old Jethro Tull song of which I will not repeat the words here now, but it has something to do with the stuff dripping from this buffalo’s nose. Raw nature at its best. Just the other night I saw a clip on the news about a buffalo that killed a worker on a nearby game farm. These are ferocious animals which are many times under estimated by people thinking it's just another tame bovid with the result that they do not show this animal the respect it so much deserves as a "killer". You got this one with great colours and fine focus. You excellently managed to overcome the very challenging spectrum of contrasts between the dark (and in some places) shaded hide and the bright boss (between the horns) with the result that all the details are pretty much visible. Another fine effort from you.

Hello Loot

Wraggies, maar hierdie is een puik skoot van hierdie gevreesde dier wat tog te veel soos 'n gewone bees lyk en daarom soms so onderskat word. Ek het al heelwat gewonder hoekom 'n buffel altyd so bevreesd voorkom wanneer 'n mens dit in 'n voertuig benader. Die goed staan net nie stil nie en slaan altyd op die vlug. Dot is glo egter 'n ander storie indien 'n mens hulle te voet sou nader. Dit is wanneer hulle glo uiters gevaarlik is en daarom is daar baie jagter stories wat vertel van die elende wat hierdie dier kan veroorsaak.

Hierdie is egter 'n baie skerp foto en een van hoogstaande gehalte met die buffel wat direk na jou kyk en dit lyk nogal asof hy sy oë so op skrefies trek om jou nog meer te intimideer. Dit is voorwaar nie 'n opgesmukte dier nie, nie as ek so kyk na die neusslym (snot) wat so uit sy neus loop nie en die stukke modder wat so aan sy ore kleef nie. Jy het die dier pragtig geissoleer en dus staan dit baie goed uit op die foto.


Hi Loot
Behalwe vir die loop neus is dit 'n baie mooi foto :-)
Hierdie diere het darm 'n mooi sterk voorkoms!

Hallo Loot
Great intense stare you have captured here. It’s dangerous and aggressive character is well seen in its eyes. I have always found the documentaries featuring these animals interaction with other predators very interesting. Great photographic quality with great composition, and focusing all the attention right between the eyes. Looking closer in the eyes one notices the red colour in the corners, confirming why you have chosen the title. It is most appropriate. Very nice pose and great to have it staring right at the camera, with mud cloches all over and snot running from its nose.

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