Smile for the camera

With all the buffalo in and around our safari camp at the moment, we have been able to observe some interesting behaviour.

One of the big five!

The buffalo photographed to the left is not smiling but rather ‘flehming’. Flehming is a response often practised by hoofed animals when urine is being scented. Scent particles are taken into the nasal cavities to be analysed by the vomero-nasal organ.

This organ assists the animal in decoding information about the individual that left the scent behind – such as its identity and sexual status. This is especially important when it comes to females, as this will let dominant males know when resident females are coming into oestrus (season).

The bull buffalo pictured above is a fine specimen and will definitely be competing for mating rights within the herd.


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