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The most dangerous animals in South Africa
in the new film, “Wild Safari 3D"
THE BIG FIVE

African Elephant
The African elephant is the largest living land animal. It weighs up to 7 tons and
inhabits the savannah, brush, forest, river valleys, and semi-desert regions of Africa
south of the Sahara Desert.

As vegetarians, elephants require a lot of food, sometimes consuming more than 500
pounds of plant matter in one day. Their trunk is employed to pull branches off trees, uproot grass, pluck fruit, and to place food in their mouths. The trunk is also used for
smell, touch, drinking, greeting or throwing dirt for dust baths.

Two incisor teeth in the upper jaw of both male and female elephants grow to form
large tusks of ivory that have been used to produce billiard balls, piano keys and other
objects. In the past, hunters destroyed thousands of elephants to acquire this ivory.
Today, that is no longer happening. The situation has greatly improved with recent
conservation actions by the South African Government, such as the signing into law of
the Biodiversity Act of September 2004, protecting the elephant, and establishment in December 2004 of the National Biodiversity Institute.

African Leopard
The most elusive of the large carnivores, the leopard is also the most secretive and
cunning. Pound for pound, it is the strongest climber of the large cats and capable of
killing prey larger than itself.

Leopards come in a wide variety of coat colors, from a light buff or tawny in warmer,
dry areas to a dark shade in deep forests. The spots, or rosettes, are circular in East
African leopards but square in southern African leopards.

Dense bush in rocky surroundings and riverine forest are their favorite habitats, but
leopards adapt to many places in both warm and cold climates. Their adaptability, in
fact, has helped them survive the loss of habitat to increasing human settlement. Leopards are primarily nocturnal, usually resting during the daytime in trees or thick
bush. The spotted coat provides almost perfect camouflage.

African Lion
Lions are the only cats that live in a large family group called a pride. Each pride is
Different, but a typical pride consists of two males and seven females and any number of
cubs. When the pride hunts as a group, they employ an ambush that forces large prey into the waiting paws of the males. Lions feed on a variety of large and medium-size
prey, but they prefer wildebeest (or gnu) to all others when the annual migration brings
vast herds through the pride's environment. Otherwise lions eat buffalo, zebra, antelope, giraffe, and warthogs.

Typically a mature male lion weighs about 45 pounds and stands 4 feet at the shoulder
and is 8 and 1/2 feet long, including the tail. Females are smaller, weighing less than
300 pounds. Adult lions usually have a plain unspotted coat, light brown in color. Cubs
are marked with spots that sometimes remain on the legs and belly until maturity.
As a result of widespread persecution, lions in the wild at one time were one of the most
threatened major groups of land animals. Conservation efforts in recent years have
enabled the African lion to proliferate, and it has begun to thrive in the wild once again.

African Rhino
Of the five living species of rhinoceros that survive, two of them, the white rhino and the
black rhino, live in South Africa. The white rhino is the largest of all and may stand 6-feet tall at the shoulder and weigh from 2 to 4 tons when fully grown. With large heads,
short necks, a broad chest and very thick legs, all rhinos are vegetarians.

Rhinos are the only animals on earth that have horns on their noses. The word
“rhinoceros ” comes from ancient Greek and literally means “nose ” (rhino) and “horn ”
(ceros). Horns are located on the top of the heads of all other animals that have them.
To get the horns, hunters in Africa at one time killed rhinos in large numbers. The rhino
is now a protected species, and their numbers are growing once again thanks to efforts
by the national game reserves and the government of South Africa.

African Buffalo
The African buffalo lives in open grasslands, wooded savannah and thickets.
It is an extremely adaptable and highly gregarious animal. Buffalo can associate in
herds of up to 1000 or more. Despite the fact that they are very aggressive and
extremely dangerous to humans, buffalo are very peaceful amongst themselves.

The dominant bull among a herd of buffalo is normally the oldest bull in the herd. Both
sexes have horns, but those of males are more robust and heavier. Males can attain a
mass of almost a ton, and they have a life-span of approximately 20 years. Buffalo are vegetarians and exclusively graze on grasses, bushes and leaves. Female buffalo become sexually mature at the age of five. A single calf is born after
a gestation period of 11 months.

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