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Giraffe - Fun Facts

  • Giraffes are herbivores eating only leaves.
  • Giraffes are browsers and with their long necks prefer the sweetest leaves at the very top of the tree.
  • Sometimes a giraffe will pick up a bone and chew on it for calcium.
  • Giraffes have ossicones on their head.
  • You can identify males by their ossicones being bald.
  • Male giraffes fight by slapping each other with their heads.
  • An adult giraffe’s tongue is up to 45cm long.
  • Giraffes have long tails to swat flies with.
  • Giraffes are gregarious but will often hang around together while feeding.
  • Giraffes standing in a group are called ‘a Tower’
  • Giraffes on the move are called ‘a Journey’.
  • Baby giraffes stay with their mums for about three years.
  • A giraffe can reach 5.5m in height and weigh about 230kgs.
  • In the wild, a giraffe has a lifespan usually of 20 years.
  • Even with such a long neck, like us, Giraffes have seven vertebra.
  • A giraffe has a big heart to pump the blood all the way to its head.
  • Giraffes have a valve in their neck that closes when they put their head down to drink so that all the blood doesn’t rush to their head.
  • Giraffes are diurnal and are awake during the daytime.

Lion - Fun Facts

  • Lions are very sociable animals and mostly live together in prides with normally one or two dominant males a few lionesses and usually some cubs.

  • Lions are one of the ‘Big Five’ together with elephants, Rhinos, Buffalo, and Leopards. Sadly Lions are listed as vulnerable.

  • Male lion’s too old for the pride and younger lions not old enough to have a pride sometimes live together in what’s called a coalition

  • Lions are territorial and defend their territory ferociously.

  • A lion’s roar is heard up to 8 km’s away, Lions use their roar to communicate as well as snarling, scent-marking, and posture. If you see a lion’s ears pinned back and he is flicking his tail, he is angry!

  • Lions hunt mainly at night and have excellent night vision, sense of smell, and hearing. Lions compete with hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs for food, and if the opportunity arises their demise will be swift.

  • A male lion starts to develop a mane at about 2 years old and is usually expected to leave the pride at that stage to make his own way.

  • In his prime at about 5 years old, he was very strong and stands 1.2m tall at the shoulders, and can weigh about 230kgs.

  • In the wild a male lion has a lifespan usually of 10 to 12 years.

Zebra - Fun Facts

  • In South Africa, we have the plains or common zebra, and the mountain zebra.

  • Plains zebra are a highly social species, forming harems with a single stallion.

  • Mountain zebras are a little smaller and their stripes do not extend to their belly. They also do not have the light gray ‘shadow’ stripe.

  • Zebra are herbivores grazing mostly on grass and will travel up to 1,800 miles in search of food.

  • Males are identified by their black ‘G strings’

  • Females by their broader black ‘panties’.

  • A group of Zebra is called ‘a Dazzle’.

  • Zebra are diurnal and are awake during the daytime.

  • Each species of zebra has a different pattern of stripes. Each zebra’s stripes are unique, like our fingerprints, no two have the same pattern.

  • Zebras are black with white stripes!

  • It is believed that the zebra’s stripes work like camouflage when zebras stand together, it is harder for predators to decide how many zebras are in the group, also the stripes may work as a natural sunscreen.

  • Zebras communicate using facial expressions, such as wide eyes or bared teeth, they also bark, bray, snort, or huff to get their point across.

  • Their ears can signal their feelings – ears flattened back means trouble. To strengthen their bonds, zebras also do mutual grooming.

  • When danger lurks the stallion will alert the others with a high-pitched snort. He stands his ground while the family run away in a zigzag fashion.

  • When zebras are born their legs are as long as their mums so that predators can’t see them easily.

  • Baby zebras are called foals. Zebras become fully mature at 3 to 6 years old and will have a lifespan of around 25 years.

Leopard - Fun Facts

  • Leopards are generally solitary animals and will usually be seen on their own lurking in the dense riverine bush or around rocky koppies unless mating or if a mother has cubs.

  • Leopards are mainly active at night emerging to hunt late in the afternoon or early mornings.

  • Leopards are carnivores and eat meat usually small antelope, warthogs, etc. But leopards do also attack and eat some of the larger antelopes such as Kudu, Nyala, Waterbuck, etc.

  • Unlike lions which use power, strength, and teamwork to catch their prey, or the cheetah which uses mainly speed, the leopard, although very powerful and very agile and quick uses mainly stealth, patience, and camouflage to ambush his dinner.

  • Leopards often drag their prey up into the fork of a tree several meters off the ground. This protects the carcass against scavengers and allows a few days of undisturbed feeding.

  • A leopard’s spots are like our fingerprints in that no leopard’s spots are the same.

  • Leopards in the wild may live up to 15 years. Unlike the lion, the leopard is a silent creature, only occasionally emitting a cough-like call.

  • Leopards are highly adaptable creatures living successfully in all kinds of conditions, A male will defend his territory against other males, but will share territory with females.

  • After the lion, it is the next-biggest African cat with an average body mass of between 60kg and 70kg, standing about two-thirds of a meter tall at the shoulder.
Bush Tales

These wonderful kids’ story tales are complemented with a beautifully hand-crafted animal tail for humans to wear