Rustenburg - A quarter share in the buffalo bull with the biggest horns in the world was auctioned off for R44m on Saturday evening, reported Netwerk24.
This so-called "super buffalo" named Horison, whose horns span 55 inches (1.397m) and who weighs more than a tonne, is worth a whopping R176m, according to Fin24's sister publication Netwerk24.
The bid was won by Peter Bellingham of Mookgophong (Naboomspruit) at leading game farmer Piet du Toit's auction at his farm near Rustenburg.
"I feel fantastic," said an overwhelmed, all-smiles Bellingham after the auction. He is a leading game farmer and well known in game breeding circles.
"It was an amazing auction with the types of quality breeding animals for which people are prepared to pay big money."
Du Toit had bought Horison for R26m in 2012 - in partnership with Norman Adami, former chair of SABMillar Beverages, and Ben Botha of Rustenburg. A mere four years later the animal's value is more than six times the original price. The previous record price for a buffalo bull was R40m.
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"It sounds like unrealistic growth," said Bellingham. "But you will never find such a buffalo again. His horns are the biggest ever recorded."
Du Toit said such a buffalo has never been bred over the past 150 years. "People do not realise how scarce this type of super buffalo is."
Du Toit and Jacques Malan, the breeder of Horison, both agree that they are satisfied the share went to "a guy like Peter Bellingham".
"He is someone who has invested a lot in buffaloes," said Du Toit. "I hope this share will have positive results for him."
After Du Toit's auction last year, Bellingham said he had spent R230m on animals in 2014. Du Toit thinks Horison could easily breed animals worth a total of R1bn.
"We are going to put 40 cows - ten per investor - with him," said Bellingham.
Du Toit would like to have Horison remain on his farm.
"I told Peter how much Horison enjoys it among the giant thorn trees and along the river."
Only breeding buffaloes of the highest quality and rare, exotic game were auctioned on Saturday.
According to Wildswinkel, organisers of the auction, the turnover was about R230m, slightly less than the R266m turnover at last year's auction.
Most of the animals auctioned belonged to Du Toit. Animals belonging to well known game farmers Stephan Naudé, Jaco Naudé and Beyers Gerber, as well as a few animals belonging to eight other guest sellers, were auctioned too.
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A crowd of 4 000, including well known people like Bakkies Botha and Heyneke Meyer - former Springbok lock and coach respectively - attended the auction.
"Piet has taken the industry to a new level," said Botha.
* For more news in Afrikaans, visit Netwerk24.