Wahner Heide Although this photo looks like it could be from a safari, it was taken in a nature preserve close to Cologne/Bonn Airport. The water buffaloes needed a little heat relief, and found the perfect place.
For hikers in the Wahner Heide wildlife habitat & conservation area, the view shown in this photo makes it look as if they are on safari. In the wildlife refuge, the meadows are used for grazing to prevent scrub overgrowth. Goats, sheep, donkeys and cattle are seen as animal landscapers. Their exotic neighbors, the water buffaloes are there to eat whatever those more familiar animals don’t like to eat.
The large animals contribute in diverse ways to the preservation of the natural habitat of many species. With their weight they trample down plants, for example, ensuring that ponds do not become overgrown. One of their favorite activities is wallowing in mud puddles, followed by a swim in lakes and ponds. In the evening hours, the water buffaloes go in search of food. Then, with a little luck, you can get very close to the animals, which can weigh up to 1200 kilos; and they are only separated by a pasture fence.
(Orig. text: Dieter Hombach; Translation: ck)