Buffalo Bath Water

Last night we were filming a young female leopard as she approached a small waterhole. Water is starting to become sparse as the drought takes hold and waterholes are become more dispersed here in the south east of Sri Lanka. Due to their strong territoriality leopards regularly drink from their local waterhole, so you can imagine the surprise of our young female when she discovered a huge water buffalo blissfully lying in the muddy remains of her drinking pool.

Far from being deterred she silently approached the buffalo and hid behind a tree until darkness fell. Then as the light failed she crept around behind him and started drinking. All we could see was the buffalo and the leopards tail raised in the air like a flag as she precariously balanced herself to drink from the waterhole. After a few moments the buffalo's eyes shot open as he realised that there was an intrusion into his bath water. Stomping out of the bath and dripping with ooze he chased the leopard around the waterhole and into a tree. Almost blind in the dark the buffalo then paraded around the waterhole, seemingly looking for the leopard before squelching off into the forest. The leopard meanwhile, coolly jumped out of the tree and resumed her drink in peace.

We are returning to the waterhole tonight to see if the leopard returns!


Thermal image of Buffalo and leopard: copyright ammonite


xl said...

What an astounding image! Thank you!

Sherry O'Keefe said...

good stuff.

maybe you've addressed this in your other posts (which i will be reading more of soon)-what's your trick for patience and holding still?

Eryl Shields said...

Patient as a leopard...

Which bit of the buffalo is foremost here?

Lulu LaBonne said...

Standing in for Ammonite

Xl - the boys are delighted with your delight

Hi Sherry - I have canvassed opinion on how to deal with patience and holding still.
a) on the cameraman's part - Patience isn't an issue, it's all so fascinating

b) dealing with the other people in the car who can't see so well and start chatting and fidgetting you have to say 'Be Quiet!' and "Keep Still!' quite a lot.

Eryl - The head and horns of the buffalo are in the front of the picture, the thermal camera is picking up heat from the animal's nose and between it's eyes.

Eryl Shields said...

I thought that looked like a huge hooter.

Madame DeFarge said...

It's sad when a buffalo can't have a bath in peace without someone wanting to nip in too.

ammonite said...

Eryl - actually the buffalo makes a lot of hooter-type noises

Mme Def - I think it's worse when someone tries to wash in your cup of tea

nursemyra said...

great night shot