How to bale out a buffalo

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Lois Kuhle
Lois Kuhle

LOIS KUHLE and her husband live on a game farm just outside Pongola, KZN.  The drought has been relentless and they have had to take desperate measures to keep the animals in good condition

There’s always one who has to get her fingers caught in the cookie jar. Forty tons of lucerne and grass make up the bush pantry and every day a vehicle takes out loads of food to various points on the 3,000 hectare game farm.

Caught in a corner. A heavy bale blocks this buffalo's way out. Pictures: Lois Kuhle
Caught in a corner. A bale blocks this buffalo’s way out. Pictures: Lois Kuhle

Except some folk have become lazy and hover around the shed eating their bellies full, then lazily amble a mere 20 meters away to chew the cud. And back again. And so the cycle goes. One clever heifer ate her way from the front of the shed to the back. Until she was caught in a corner, her way back was blocked by a heavy bale.

Far from being domesticated and with an unfortunate disposition, the task of freeing the heifer was not easy. The bales were too heavy to be humanly removed so the front end loader (TLB) was called in. It took ages to shift the bales, while the buffalo was beginning to breathe heavily and stress out.

The buffalo was beginning to stress
The buffalo was beginning to stress

Two hours later the way had been cleared for her, but by now she was exhausted.

After resting for a couple of hours, she shook herself off, snorted out the dust and ambled off as though nothing had happened.

Just another bale of a time in Africa!