Spending time in the bush and witnessing nature at its most raw means that you begin to appreciate the part that death plays in the cycle of life. Survival of the fittest is a necessary natural population control occurrence, leading to only the strongest and most adept of the species surviving to pass on their genes. Despite understanding this though, when a situation arrives where there is hope of survival, the majority of people tend to support the underdog and hope for a favourable outcome. This is one just story…
A little while back we arrived at a pan and were viewing a large herd of buffalo. We watched them drink and roll around in the mud before slowly sauntering away to feed in the open grasslands. It was only when the commotion subsided that we noticed a very young buffalo calf that was stuck in the mud. The rest of the herd had already moved off and just the mother of the calf remained by its side.
We had at this time been at the pan for over an hour, but rather than staying with the herd, we waited with the calf, rooting for its survival. The calf attempted tirelessly to free itself from the suffocating mud and with each movement it seemed to envelop itself ever deeper and deeper. At one point it let out a loud distress call, which resulted in several other buffalo returning to the scene but they to could do nothing to help the calf.
The exhausted, yet persistent calf continued to fight and eventually its determination paid off. Under the watchful eye of its mother, it eventually managed to pry itself from the quagmire and stumbled to its feet.
Shortly after, the mother and calf rejoined the rest of the herd grazing in the distance, safe and sound despite its new coating of mud. We continued home, grateful that we had been privileged enough to watch this little buffalo struggle for survival and elated that this time the underdog had managed to succeed.