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The Mud Wrestler

The Mud Wrestler
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: 2006-01-02
Categories: Mammals, Savannah
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Digital ISO 200, UV 86mm Kenko
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Mammals of Southern Africa, Wild Life, Wildlife of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1, A study in Mammalogy (mammals) 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-30 14:37
Viewed: 5944
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Savanna buffalo - Syncerus caffer

The mud wrestler was photographed at the Bhejane hide, in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. This buffalo bull was one of 23 that stormed the drinking hole with great ado. With them there is no careful, slow approach like with many antelope. No, they rush towards the water, kicking up dust as they go, and charge right into the pool to quench their thirst. Within minutes the small puddle of water are turned into a gooey muddy paste. That’s when they will fall down prostrate and wallow in the mud. On hot days they could spend quite some time just lazing about. Sometimes they even intimidate other thirsty animals who dare come too close.


This powerfully built African buffalo is the only member of its genus, although 2 types exist. The smaller, reddish forest-dwelling buffalo, Syncerus caffer nanus and Syncerus caffer caffer, described here, which lives in savanna and open country. Hybridisation does occur between the two races.

It has a huge head with a broad, moist muzzle, large drooping ears and heavy horns, the bases of which may meet across the forehead. Overall dark brown to black body colour.

Body: 2.1-3 m (6-10 ft). Tail: 75 cm-1.1 m (29 in-3½ ft). Shoulder height: 1.4 m (4½ ft). Weight: male 320 kg (705 lb), female 260 kg (573 lb).

Africa, south of the Sahara.

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

Buffaloes have adapted to live in a variety of conditions, from forest to semi-desert, wherever there is adequate grazing and plenty of water, for they drink morning and evening and enjoy lying in water and wallowing in mud.

An aggressive animal and a formidable fighter, it is extremely dangerous to hunt, since it may charge without provocation or, if wounded, wait in thick bush and attack a pursuing hunter. Although their eyesight and hearing are poor, they have a strongly developed sense of smell. They are gregarious, living in herds which range from a dozen or so to several hundred animals, often led by an old female, but dominated by a mature bull. Old bulls are ousted from the herd and live alone in groups of 2 to 5.

They feed mainly at night, on grass, bushes and leaves resting up in dense cover during the day.

Although normally silent, buffaloes bellow and grunt during the mating season which varies throughout the range and appears to be related to climate. A single calf is born after a gestation period of 11 months; it is covered in long, blackish-brown hair, most of which is lost as it matures.

Apart from man, its enemies are the lion and occasionally the crocodile, both usually succeed in killing only young or sick animals.

Source: "The Marshal Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals" by Dr. Philip Whitfield, Marshall Publishing.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

liquidsunshine, thor68, manyee, coasties, Janice, twosixbw, scottevers7, jeanpaul, livios, SunToucher, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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To manyee: Muddy detailsloot 2 04-02 01:56
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jannie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 6 N: 264] (1227)
  • [2006-03-30 14:55]

Hi Loot

Nice capture. Excellent lighting and detail. I like the texture of the mud on him and the blurred background looks great.

Good capture Loot,
Good detail, colours and sharpness.
Composition and lighting are excellent. Good POV and framing.
Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-03-30 15:21]

good Hello Loot , Hi had a modderbad ,hi look like pretty,
very photo ,good colours compositie pov dof and sharp ,
i like it , tfs ,Greetings Teunie ,Thanks for mail .

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2006-03-30 15:30]

great muddy portrait, loot! :-)
what´s he been up to
all covered with mud?
nice dirty pov and composition.
well seen & captured,

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2006-03-30 18:05]

Hello Loot,
What a great capture of this giant, you can see his strenght.

Hi Loot,

Great shot of this "Big Boss" of Africa.Very good POV! showing the mud all over its face. the BG Blur is superb.
Have a great week end ]
Goutham R

Well, this big fella looks mighty pleased with his spa treatment. : )
Another example of your excellent eye for catching these amazing wild animals doing their thing. Your notes were very informative and quite complementary to the picture. Very fine details showing the texture of all that mud on that fur and horn. Good colors and light. Thank you, Loot, for a great capture. : )

Hi Loot

Sorry, I am short on time tonight as I am competing in a car rally tomorrow morning so I will be up early, so just a quick visit. Nice shot and fully deserves the green smiley. :-)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-03-31 6:38]

Hi Loot, looks like he's gone through a tough game of rugby.
Super shot, and the look in his eye gives the impression that he is quite calm and placid. He certainly doesn't look even a tiny bit aggressive here.
Well composed, good lighting and sharpness. Very well shown my friend, TFS.

Looks like he's really enjoyed his good wallow!!
Thanks too for the detailed note...

Hi Loot,
A strong profile shot on this buffalo. Very good detail in this big brute. Perfect DOF. This looks great!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-04-01 13:18]

Nice portrait of this buffalo. Well composed and exposed. The background could have been a bit more smooth.

Thanks Loot.


Bonjour Loot
Il est impressionnant ton buffle.Belle composition et les détails et la couleur sont bons.
Merci et au revoir

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-04-02 16:07]

Loot, this is a very nice capture.

I like composition and dof.

Great sharpness too.

Hi Loot,
Beautiful portrait of the buffalow in its elements. The colors and details. The note is excellent and gave me so much more knowledge. Again a great example of your excellent eye for photographing wild animals.

Pragtige dien!! Wys jou wat 'n modder masker vir mens kan doen!
Mooi Loot

Hello Loot

Ek moet sê dat ek hierdie Wikimapia skakels wat jy deesdae in jou notas plaas besonder geniet. Daarmee kan 'n mens dan ook sommer sien wat is al die ander fotos wat jy reeds by 'n spesifieke plek gefotografeer het. 'n Groot dankie vir hierdie ekstra stukkie moeite wat jy doen.

Hierdie modder deurtrenkte buffel profiel is net so 'n genieting. Ek sien jou lens was op die lang ent van sy vermoë so ek neem aan die buffel moes dan seker aan die ander kant van die pan gestaan het. Dit maak die detail op hierdie foto soveel meer besonder aangesien dit sekerlik 'n uitdaaging moet wees om daardie lang lens stil te hou onder sulke omstandighede. Pragtige werk.


Hello Loot
This guy surely enjoyed himself in the mud and you could not have chosen a better or more appropriate title. This is a great shot of this guy in his natural environment. The pose of your subject is terrific and the details you present him with are great. This is indeed a great capture of this animal, showing the texture of all the sludge on its fur and horn. Good portrayal of true colours and light. Thanks for sharing.

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