The grasslands of the animal and nature park Terra Natura Benidorm have seen the arrival of a water buffalo calf (Bubalus Bubalis). The young female calf called Claudia was born after a gestation period of eleven months and is the second offspring for her mother who's first calf was born in 2009.
As the mother's due date approached, staff at the Benidorm park prepared a shelter with plenty of straw to make the mother as comfortable as possible. The shelter also protected her from the rain and the drop in temperature over the last couple of days.
The mother gave birth naturally without any assistance needed from the park staff and the herd has accepted its new member without any problems.
The herd are generally very protective of all young calves. If they did not do so the young could easily be crushed or trampled by the herd as an adult buffalo weighs approximately 400 kilograms.
Female buffalo in the herd are generally gentle and loving towards the young but each mother is responsible for feeding her own offspring. Sometimes the young calf mistakes another female for its mother or can't find its mother when it is hungry so the other females in the herd will stay with the calf until its mother hears its cries for food and comes to nurse it.
Terra Natura Benidorm currently has more than 10 water buffalo in the park , seven males and five females.
Water buffalo spend long hours immersed in the mud and when they feel threatened they will charge and run over anything in their path.
The wild species of water buffalo is in serious danger of extinction due to its natural habitat being taken over for agricultural development.
Buffaloes are very sensitive to heat, because they have few sweat glands. This is the reason that they spend so much time cooling off in the mud. . The mud also protects them from insect bites when it dries.
Buffalo herds can be used as working animals, for their meat or as dairy animals.