The owner of an Mpumalanga game ranch narrowly escaped death when a buffalo attacked him, the Lowvelder Online reported on Friday.

"It is only by the grace of God that I am alive today," Jan Nel owner of the Paradors Game Ranch near Nelspruit was quoted as saying.

On the day of the recent attack, Nel was separating buffalo calves from the cows in one of the two kraals at the ranch. Nel wanted to release the remaining two buffaloes from the kraal.

The incident occurred when Nel stood between a buffalo bull and a buffalo cow.

"From prior experience as a farmer, I know that you never turn your back away from a bull. The animal sees it as a challenge.

"However by the time I noticed this the animal had already decided to charge," he said Nel.

As it had rained a few days before the incident, the animals might have been mating. The bull might have thought that he was invading its territory.

The charging bull stopped in its tracks about a metre away from Nel and the two made eye contact. Nel began moving backwards to a water pen at the back of the kraal in an effort to reach the fence.

But he only managed to walk a few metres from the bull when it charged at him flipping him up into the air with one its horns, cutting his leg to the bone just above the knee. He landed next to the water trough

Nel jumped into the trough and began throwing water repeatedly in the buffalo's face.

This brought the buffalo to a halt each time it approached.

Two farm workers witnessed what had happened from outside the kraal. They went into the kraal in a bid to distract the animal.

One beat the buffalo with a stick until the animal gave way.

Nel was rushed to the Nelspruit Medi Clinic with the gaping wound.

Nel has not let the incident deter him. He regularly goes out to the kraal with his walking stick, the Lowvelder reported. - Sapa