HomeTop StoriesIn South Africa, where buffalo roam, this is sometimes a problem. ...

In South Africa, where buffalo roam, this is sometimes a problem. Like on a major highway

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Where the buffalo roam could be a problem in South Africa.

Two buffalo were spotted in the middle of a major highway on the outskirts of the country’s largest city, Johannesburg, on Saturday evening as cars and trucks zoomed by. Some shocked motorists took photos and videos with their phones.

It is not clear where the buffalo came from and no one has reported any missing.

The city council has decided that they must be captured and moved as quickly as possible because of the danger posed by the sharp-horned cattle, which can weigh up to 800 kilos each and are notorious for being quite grumpy and unpredictable.

The buffalo disappeared shortly after walking along the highway, but security and risk assessment company Bidvest Protea Coin helped authorities track them down with a helicopter armed with an infrared camera.

Their body heat was picked up by the camera and gave them away. The helicopter was spotted early Tuesday in a bushy area along a highway near Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, said Waal de Waal, chief operating officer at Bidvest Protea Coin.

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The helicopter, normally used to respond to crime and track down stolen cash-in-transit vans, will be used to shoot the buffalos out of the sky with a stun gun, De Waal said.

Veterinarian Cliff Bull will do the darts. He said it’s hard enough to find them, but moving buffalo is the biggest operation.

Because of the uneven terrain and dense brush, Bull said it would be extremely difficult to carry the buffalo on some kind of stretcher after they had been stunned. So the best bet is to shoot them with a mild tranquilizer that allows a team to lead the sleepy animals to a truck with prods.

“We’ll probably have to let them out,” Bull said.

Buffalo herding tests the courage of the bravest veterinarians, he said.

The buffalo may have been at large for months after reports of other sightings in the region last April.

Surprisingly for large animals, “They have a way of getting around without being seen,” Bull said.

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This is not the first wildlife operation undertaken by Bull, who runs the Craig View Veterinary Clinic in Johannesburg.

He once shot away a leopard that someone had discovered in the laundry room of their home in the nearby town of Benoni, he said. Bull was also called upon to release a bush pig, a type of wild boar, onto the street near Johannesburg’s Sandton financial district.


AP Africa News: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

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