It's not at all unusual to see battle-tested Cape buffalo bulls with dinged, chipped or weathered-down horns ... but one actually dripping blood? A bit more noteworthy. 

Image: Kathleen Baker

This slightly worse-for-wear bull was spotted at a waterhole at South Africa's Senalala Luxury Safari Camp, which lies in the bushveld of Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. This is part of the network of private reserves along Kruger National Park's boundaries that together with Kruger itself compose Greater Kruger National Park.

Onlookers noticed the tip of the buffalo's left horn had broken off, and recently, too: the raw break was still oozing blood. (A bleeding horn? Sure: blood vessels lace a horn's bony core.)

Image: Kathleen Baker

As the safari camp noted in a post about the sighting over at Africa Geographic, the bull likely busted his headgear in a tussle with another buffalo. Fighting bulls may charge headlong at one another and ram with their "bosses": the bony brow formed by the bases of their horns, which often fuse into one massive shield. 

They'll also sometimes engage in extended boss-to-boss shoving matches, with much twisting and grappling of the hook-shaped horn tips – perhaps the cause of this particular male's bloody fracture (though of course we can't say for sure).

"Buffalo bulls of this age and stature are often engaged in conflict with other mature bulls, and in the process the horns occasionally get broken," says the Senalala team.

Image: Kathleen Baker

Such altercations may take place during the rutting season, when bulls vie for cows in oestrus. Breeding activity in Kruger generally winds down in May, but male buffalo will certainly clash horns outside the rut, as this 2015 video from Pondoro Game Lodge (also in Greater Kruger National Park) shows. 

The Senalala bull may look a bit banged-up at present, but his splintered crown should heal over before long. (Venerable old bulls, we should point out, often have their horn tips worn away entirely.)

"Generally, the open wound will heal in time," adds the team.

And if the broken tip did indeed derive from a fight, perhaps this burly "dagga boy" might tell us: "Hey, you should see the other guy!"