Case study shows why buffalo cost R40 million

Such horn sizes were found in the rest of Africa until the late 1970’s, but horn sizes have since shrunk.

“The bull was disease-free and could travel around the continent unlike buffalo from other countries, which can’t be moved since they can’t be proven to be free of TB and foot-and-mouth disease,” York said in a statement.

He also presented a case for putting energy and resources into the wildlife industry. Some 82% of SA’s land mass is marginal and not suited to agriculture, but it is ideal for wildlife ranching and some 20 million hectares have already been transformed by the wildlife industry, he said.

The industry has been doing genetic testing for some time, focusing on eight species, including meat-yielding animals like wildebeest, impala and kudu, and rare species like buffalo, roan and sable.

“The wildlife industry is a leading example of a green economy,” said York, “and it is the biggest opportunity for development in rural areas.”