The Big Five

La Terre des Origines

The Big Five

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The lion has always been considered to be the king of the jungle with their beautiful manes that give them a regal appearance and their impressive jaws. Their canines can grow up to 6 cm long and their jaws have a compression force of up to 300 kg, which is practical for taking in its daily ration of 7kg meat, which they need to maintain their body weight of 250 kg. As befits a true ruler, lions are rather lazy and they will hardly ever hunt. They rather leave this task to their harems, the females, which are smaller and more agile. Prides consist of 3 to 30 members, with a ratio of 1 to 7 males, one of which is the eldest and the strongest, to 1 to 18 females. Their hunting ground covers up to 500 km2. It is therefore not inconceivable for them to hunt buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, antelope, impala, warthog, giraffe or even elephant, hippo or rhino. They compete with hyenas and cheetahs for food and when they are really hungry they can consume up to 40 kg (30 kg for females) of meat in one go.

In the area of __Central to South Africa, there are still anywhere between 16 to 30,000 roaming wild, mostly in national parks such as the Serengeti in Tanzania. During the Paleolithic period (35,000 BCE) their habitat stretched up to Spain and France, judging by cave paintings found at Lascaux.

Animals in zoos and the circus are usually born in captivity and the inhabitants at Pairi Daiza are from the Netherlands and Israel.

African Elephant, Suzy

In honor of Suzy: She was as orphan from Botswana that was given a home in Belgium where she was weaned and lived in a Flemish zoo for 21 years. Suzy has her personal caregiver (cornac or mahout), a Belgian, who is originally from Puri, Iran. He has a very serene personality, almost impassive, and he is an aspiring elephant whisperer.

Elephants are pregnant for a period of 22 months and the young drink milk from their mothers for 36 to 48 months. At birth a calf weighs about 120 kg.

In Africa the elephant population is estimated at 400,000 to 500,000 elephants (in 1930 there were 5 million). The densest concentrations are found in southern and eastern Africa, and a distinction is made between forest elephants (Central and West Africa) and Savannah elephants (South and East Africa). From a matriarchal and social point of view there are two pillars in a herd (10 elephants).

White Rhino

He is not really dirty, the white is simply more of a grey colour. This mistake dates back to English colonisation as the South African farmers had called these animals wijd-lip (wide lip), baptised, but with British incomprehension that became white. Of all the rhino species in the world (from Asia - Java, Sumatra, India, etc., the white and the black in Africa), this, with dimensions of 3-7 to 4-2 m in length and at a weight of 3,000 kg, the largest, it is already approximately 50 years old. There is significant illegal trade because of the supposed therapeutic and aphrodisiac properties of the evocative horn; and for taxidermist interest. The species is not really threatened, notwithstanding the number has dwindled to about 17,500 individuals.

The Big Five in image

This world's activities

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The Big Five

The Big Five: Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, ... More info


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