Poncho: A Brand New Cape Buffalo


Poncho is a two-month-old baby Cape Buffalo at the zoo.

His caretaker, Matt Ardaiolo (who has a degree in biology), said that the most difficult part of caring for the buffalo was getting them inside. Because Cape Buffalo are extremely dangerous. They are one of the top ten most dangerous animals in Africa.

Ardaiolo and the other caretakers have to lure the buffalo inside with food. In the morning, with all the buffalo inside, Ardaiolo and all of the other caretakers enter the outside enclosure and clean up after the messy buffalo.

The buffaloes each eat 1 and 1/2 bales of hay everyday – that is 70 to 80 pounds of hay!

The buffaloes also eat all day every day, munching on hay and maize, a special grain full of buffalo nutrients.

Of course, the babies like Poncho or his friend Mabel, who was born May 1st, are still nursing, but Mabel is at an age where she can both nurse and eat hay.

The wild Cape Buffalo population is booming. There is over 1,000,000 of these buffalo in Africa! The main cause of a population decline in Cape Buffalo though is habitat loss.

Unlike Water Buffalo, Cape Buffalo cannot be tamed.

Surprisingly, the Cape Buffalo get along with the other animals at the zoo and play with toys. The buffalo do sometimes have little fights for dominance, but these do not last too long.

The father of Mabel, Poncho, and Puddle, a two and 1/2-year-old “teenager”, moved to a different zoo in 2017’s October for breeding purposes.

Cape Buffalo are very interesting creatures that are fun to look at and observe.

(And no, there is no buffalo in Buffalo sauce, which comes from Buffalo, New York.)