Pecking order fights

2 – 05 – 2012

To be successful in the wild, one has to battle for its rank. This is not only true for male animals, but also for cows and sometimes for entire herds. During these fight, the fittest animals battle for the highest ranks, best access to resources and first mating rights. Final goal is to have your genes being passed on to the next generation.

Managers come across the battles more often. FREE Nature manager Esther Linnartz was lucky enough to film some of these pecking order fights at the Slikken van Flakkee of the Dutch Staatsbosbeheer. Within these area of 650 hectares lives several rewilded herds of bovines and horses.

The first movie shows several fighting bulls. At first it’s all about psychological warfare, but when one doesn’t back down, it comes to a real fight. Among the spectators, two sub adult bulls, making a lot of noise.

The second movie show a class between two female groups. On the left a herd of about 40 animals, being chased of by another bigger herd of 100 animals. Normally these two herds live apart from each other, but this time they met and didn’t want to share the same grazing pastures. As a consequence, a stampede of 150 wild Heck cattle.