With some excitement, John Firth of Hillcrest Game Estates (Wellington) expressed his delight at the recent birth of a new Buffalo calf. “For us this is important” says Firth, “as it demonstrates the adaptability of buffalo to the Western Cape, proving once again that these prized animals need not merely survive in this geographic region, but that they truly can thrive (i.e. flourish and grow healthy) in the Western Cape.”
Firth adds that “with each successful birth of a new Buffalo calf, I am enthusiastically motivated to relocate more animals from our Wolmaransstad ranch (in the North West Province) in order to produce more prized game in the Western Cape.” This type of game-breeding strategy perfectly aligns with the overall purpose and mission of the Cape Wildlife Group—namely, to promote and nurture the conservation of wildlife in the Western Cape.
Speaking in a 2016 interview with Farmer’s Weekly (August 30, 2016) Schutz Marais of Arc-en-Ciel, said that game animals need to be adapted to their local conditions because this greatly reduces the associated risks with breeding of rare game, particularly in the Western Cape. This strategy concurs with what John Firth is currently doing: examining and testing the local Western Cape environment in order to identify game species that will truly thrive in the Western Cape.
The challenge continues: at Hillcrest Game Estates (Wellington), more buffalo calves are expected to be born in the next few months. “There is much excitement around our Buffalo breeding projects” concludes Firth.
Photo caption: New Buffalo-calf born early November — Of heifer, Onixia (Hillcrest Game Estates, Wellington)