Herbert attacked by a crazed bull

Published : 12 Apr, 2019

Today we had a miracle in that I thought our head game scout (Herbert) was dead.

He and Elijah went on patrol and at 7.am Elijah came home to tell me that they had been attacked by a buffalo. (Now only about 5 days ago, a man had been killed by a buffalo just about 7kms from us, about 5miles.)

Turgwe Hippo Trust scouts had actually found the place where he had been killed but his body had already been recovered by National Parks and Police after they were told of the incident. So we knew there was a rogue buffalo in the area and the scouts know that if they are charged by a buffalo they must climb something very high, preferably a kopje (small mountain).

This a.m as they reached one place about 2km from home they heard suddenly an angry noise in the bush and out charged the buff. It went for Herbert who fell into bushes and then it started to attack the bushes and saw Elijah running so it went after him. He got away and in the meantime unbeknown to Elijah. Herbert managed to climb a nearby kopje and found a hole next to a big rock as he got to it the buffalo came back. It proceeded to attack the rock and the bushes around the hole. Herbert squashed himself lying flat into the hole and the buff’s leg, from I think digging, hit Herbert on the right side of his head. Also bruised his leg and Herbert managed to poke the stick he was carrying at the buffalo’s eyes.

The buff then went off.

Herbert waited listened and eventually climbed higher saw that it was gone and managed to walk home. In the meantime I had been helped thankfully by Lara Clemence who is part of the anti poaching rhino protection setup in the Conservancy. We do not have phone signal here so I got her on FB messenger (thank you FaceBook) and she managed to contact our neighbours Humani who sent the police and National Parks, as well as their head scout Stanley and a couple of other scouts. They arrived about 3 mins after Herbert had walked in maybe around 9.30a.m They then took Elijah and went back to the area to kill the buffalo.

This is essential as when a buffalo kills someone there is usually a reason and this buff was very aggressive so had to be put down. They have just come back at 1pm the buffalo has been shot. National Parks scouts are at present with the carcass. The reason for this buffalo’s anger of killing a man and of trying to kill Herbert was because HE WAS CARRYING A SNARE on his one leg. So he was probably in agony and so would be very angry and angry buffalo’s kill people.

Herbert has refused to be taken by me to Chiredzi Hospital. As he was there a couple of weeks ago for malaria and he was absolutely horrified by the conditions there. I will not go into detail as Jean-Roger is not here but due home tonight so if he thinks that Herbert must go to see a doc then we will go tomorrow a.m to see the local doc 2 hours away.






I think Herbert is OK does not seem to be in shock. I have cleaned him up and given him pain killers and sweet tea and coke. Now he just needs to recover. I have told him he is a MAN amongst Men. A brave LION.

He is the head game scout and in the past has been attacked by poachers and now a buffalo. Luckily the buffalo never managed to hook Herbert or touch him with its head.

He is a very brave Man.

Love to all Karen and the hippos


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  1. Aoife

    That poor bull. I am so sorry, Herbert, this happened to you. But, I am very glad it was not worse.

    • karen paolillo

      I have passed on all comments here and on face book to Herbert and he is very pleased to know that people care about what happened to him. We are all sad that the buffalo had to be killed, but sadly once a buffalo kills a human which it did before it attacked Herbert, it does not forget that man is weak and easy to kill. Buffalo’s tend to revenge when hurt which is totally understandable. The main problem is the snaring and we and the scouts remain diligent in trying to remove the snares that we locate. Love to all Karen and the hippos

  2. Susan Monteiro

    Thank you for your amazing commitment Herbert. I hope you recover soon.

  3. Mary Egoian

    Speedy recovery Herbert
    You are amazing

  4. Beate

    WOW! What a story. You did tell us before that Buffalo can be very dangerous. And again it it the human that makes him so angry. First a snare, then shot ;-( It is what it is, but it stinks. Thank God Herbert survived!

  5. neil patterson

    Wow.what a true hero! Hope he recovers soon.Thank you for all you do Herbert!

  6. Amber

    May Herbert have fast and complete healing! So glad he was not more seriously injured!

    • karen paolillo

      Amber he already looks so much better if you check my post today on facebook I took photos of him with his son who pitched up here thinking his dad had been killed. You can imagine his relief. Bush telegraph told him Herbert had been attacked by the buffalo. The good thing is that even the police and Parks guys who had to shoot the buffalo said to me it was all wrong as the buffalo was not that old not an old dugga boy and he was angry because of the snare and had this not have happened nobody would have been hurt. They were angry with the poachers that set the snares


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