Tuesday, September 20, 2016

More game of Africa

There are many impressive animal sights in addition to the famous Big Five of South Africa. During our 4 days at Kruger National Park, our guides and the participants of our group spotted many interesting and unusual creatures.

Gramma Judy (Jordan's mom), Jordan, and I found it peculiar that for most part, these very wild animals ignore vehicles and the gawking spectators within. But put one foot outside the vehicle and you would immediately be dinner. By the way, what animal kills the most people each year? Keep reading to find out. You may be surprised!

First photos are of the giraffe, the tallest mammal of the world, which have the same number of vertebrae in their long necks as do humans! They live in small groups and can go for long periods without water which is good as they are very vulnerable when stooping to drink. And a group of giraffes is called a tower - how suitable!

A tower of giraffes

Free kisses

Are hippopotamuses dangerous? Well, they have killed more humans than any other animal! Hippos are very territorial and unpredictable.

Sedentary and amphibious

We were also fortunate to come across a nursing hyena and her male partner along the side of the road. Their three pups ran around and played with each other when not nursing.

A patient mom

Impalas will perform long zig-zag leaps, jumping as high as 3 m and as long as 11 m, over and across others, to confuse and escape predators.

A herd of impalas

Bull kudus are a very handsome type of antelope with its long spiralling horns. They lock their horns in combat and occasionally are unable to disengage. The cows are hornless but have extremely large round ears.

A young bull

Sable antelopes, which live in groups, are rarely seen as they are a critically endangered species. They have dagger sharp horns that can reach up to 154 cm (60 inches) in length.

A rare sight

The warthog, as its name suggests, is neither graceful nor beautiful, having several facial warts. They can live without water for several months of the year.

Watch out for those 4 tusks

Not truly aquatic, but the waterbuck inhabits areas close to water. Their ringed horns curve up and forward - not backward.

Wrestling waterbuck

Zebras, like elephants, maintain strong family relations, and they will mutually groom each other. Their stripe patterns are as individual as human fingerprints.

Is it white with black stripes...

...or black with white stripes!

Zebra stripes may help to regulate its body temperature and also visually impair predators.

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