Bovine species / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large sub-Saharan African bovine. There are five subspecies that are recognized as being valid. Syncerus caffer caffer, the Cape buffalo, is the nominotypical subspecies, and the largest one, found in Southern and East Africa. S. c. nanus (the forest buffalo) is the smallest subspecies, common in forest areas of Central and West Africa, while S. c. brachyceros is in West Africa and S. c. aequinoctialis is in the savannas of East Africa. The adult African buffalo's horns are its characteristic feature: they have fused bases, forming a continuous bone shield across the top of the head referred to as a "boss". It is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous animals on the African continent, and according to some estimates  it gores, tramples, and kills over 200 people every year.
|Cape buffalo (S. c. caffer) at Chobe National Park, Botswana with a Cattle egret atop it|
|Forest buffalo (S. c. nanus) at Réserve Africaine de Sigean, France|
S. c. caffer
|Range of the commonly accepted forms of the African buffalo|
The African buffalo is more closely related to other buffalo species than it is to other bovids such as American bison or domestic cattle, with its closest living relative being the Asian water buffalo. Its unpredictable temperament may be part of the reason that the African buffalo has never been domesticated, which would also explain why the African buffalo has no domesticated descendants, unlike the wild yak which is an ancestor of the domestic yak. Natural predators of adult African buffaloes include lions, hyenas, and Nile crocodiles. As one of the Big Five game animals, the Cape buffalo is a sought-after trophy in hunting.