The New Student's Reference Work/Buffalo
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Buffalo. Two kinds of cattle—the Asiatic buffalo and the Cape buffalo—properly receive this name. The Asiatic form is a native of India; it has been domesticated and carried into Greece, Italy and Egypt. It is larger and more powerful than an ox. It is fond of water, and will stand for hours with only its head above the surface. The Cape buffalo is found in Central and South Africa. It grazes chiefly at night, and lies in the woods and thickets during the day. It has never been domesticated. It is very fierce and cunning, and often attacks without provocation. Its skin is so tough that it is made into shields by the Kaffirs. The so-called American buffalo is the bison (which see).
A faithful bird-friend it has, the buffalo-bird, which closely attends it, picks parasites from its hide, and gives note of alarm at the approach of danger. The Indian or water-buffalo is of great service, owing to his strength and his ability to labor in wet grounds. It is a very interesting sight to see this huge creature at work in the rice fields, his head always low down, nose thrust far in front. There are still some wild herds to be found of the Indian buffalo, the largest of all wild cattle, a very dangerous animal, able to worst a tiger in combat. The so-called American buffalo is the bison. (See Bison.)