THE BIG TWELVE
Ease in Spotting : 1=Rare…..10=Very Easy
Lion---This so called “King of the Beasts” is the top predator in Africa. They hunt as related female prides under a dominant male. The ladies do all the work and male gets first options. During the day, they can be seen resting in the shade. Spotting—6
Elephant—This is the largest living land animal weighing up to 7 tons. Elephants use their incredibly complex trunk—their nose-- as an arm to help in feeding, drinking and moving objects. Nearly made extinct due to the demand of their tusks, they are being protected in reserves.
White Rhino—White really was a misconstrued pronunciation for “wide”, as in the mouth. These second largest animal are grazers living off grasses. Found more often in the open than their cousins, the Black Rhino.
Black Rhino—These are browsers with a prehensile lip. They are shy and stay in the bush more than the White Rhino. They are considerably smaller and more aggressive.
Buffalo—The most unpredictable of the Big Twelve. They form large herds of upwards of 300 individuals. They will attack when threatened and even double back to launch surprise attacks.
Leopard—One of the hardest to see, yet one of the most common. They are found all over Africa—in trees, near and in human settlements and in the bush. They stay in trees during the day and will drag up a heavier antelope into a tree to avoid sharing with lions and hyenas.
Hyena—These are the night hunters. Yes, hyena hunt as a female dominated family group as well as scavenge. They are one animal that can challenge lions.
Giraffe—The tallest living mammal-these giants can reach 19 feet tall. They use their height to reach the tops of trees—like acacia—to feed. They are swift runners and a have a lethal kick.
Zebra—These members of the horse family are found in herds headed by a dominant stallion. No two stripe patterns are the same. They are aggressive and can be dangerous.
Wild Dog—The rarest of the Big Twelve. These are pack animals that have been nearly exterminated by hunting and dog-born diseases. They are the most efficient hunters with the best success rate due to teamwork.
Cheetah—The fastest land animal—can clock sprints of up to 70 mph. Unlike other cats, they cannot retract their claws. They hunt during the daytime relying on their speed to catch small antelope.
Hippo—This is the most dangerous of the Big Twelve and the third largest. They spend their days in the water to protect their sensitive skin, but leave the rivers and ponds for the land at night to feed.