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The Debt Collector

December 10, 2014

The Debt Collector

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Jonathan C. Slaght Jonathan C. Slaght

“Cape buffaloes look at you like you owe them money,” a colleague once remarked, and I understood what he meant the moment this male met my eyes at the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa. The buffalo glanced up from the water and pulled me into the shadow of his cool, emotionless gaze backed by more than a thousand pounds of solid mass.

The formidable reputation is one the species has earned; cape buffaloes are perilous when crossed. They aggressively defend themselves and others of their species, and they cultivate simmering hatreds toward past aggressors that they store in their minds like gold in a vault.

One can only hope for an amicable encounter with a cape buffalo; one like this that ended when the beast dipped his head for more water.  As a threat I was assessed then disregarded—he had found no debts on file.

Canon Rebel XTI


, South Africa Map It

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