The African buffalo is a large cow-like herbivore. There are two subspecies of African buffalo. The forest subspecies is about half the size of the savannah subspecies, which sees mature males stand up to 1.7 m (5.5 ft.) at the shoulder, and weigh up to 900 kg (1985 lb.).
These creatures are aggressive, powerful and fast. They can run at speeds of up to 57 km/h (35 MPH). The horn span of a large African buffalo bull can exceed 1 m (3 ft.).
It is said that more big game hunters have been killed by African buffalo than by any other African animal. Wounded animals are reputed to stalk and attack the hunter.
Other than humans, African buffalo have few natural predators and are capable of defending themselves against (and sometimes killing) lions, who will attack only old, sick or immature buffalo. The leopard is a threat only to newborn calves.
All attempts to turn the African buffalo into a 'useful' animal by crossbreeding it with domestic cattle have so far proved futile. Excessive hunting has reduced wild populations, and much of the African buffalo's habitat has been converted to agricultural use. The present range of this species is in central Africa, from just south of the Sahara to just north of South Africa.