Animals & Wildlife Magazine

The African Big Five

By Azanimals @azanimals
Natural Africa Natural Africa The term 'Big Five' today portrays the beauty and power of some of Africa's most iconic animals, but it actually has a much darker history. Originally used by hunters who travelled to the African continent, these five animals were the most highly sought after, hunted as trophies to display the exotic nature of the individual's bravery.

Sadly however, the excessive hunting and poaching of these animals has led to drastic declines in their population numbers, meaning that all but one are now considered at least Threatened or Endangered by the IUCN. Including two of the largest animals found on land anywhere in the world, these five are truly amongst the most spectacular animals on Earth.

African Elephant
African Elephant Name: African Elephant Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana africana Size: 3m - 3.5m (10ft - 12ft) Weight: 3,600kg - 5,400kg (7,900lbs - 12,000lbs) Top Speed: 40kph (25mph) Life Span: 60 - 70 years Habitat: Forest, savannah and flood plains Conservation Status: Threatened Est. Population Size: 300,000 Fun Fact: Can drink up to 50 gallons a day!

Buffalo
Buffalo Name: Buffalo Scientific Name: Syncerus caffer Size: 1.7m - 1.8m (67in - 71in) Weight: 600kg - 907kg (1,323lbs - 2,000lbs) Top Speed: 35kph (22mph) Life Span: 15 - 22 years Habitat: Woodland and grass pastures Conservation Status: Least Concern Est. Population Size: 900,000 Fun Fact: Has no real natural predators!

Leopard
Leopard Name: Leopard Scientific Name: Panthera pardus Size: 125cm - 190cm (49in - 75in) Weight: 28kg - 90kg (62lbs - 198lbs) Top Speed: 114kph (71mph) Life Span: 12 - 18 years Habitat: Dry rugged terrain and open savanna Conservation Status: Threatened Est. Population Size: 50,000 Fun Fact: There are 30 different sub-species!

Lion
Lion Name: Lion Scientific Name: Panthera leo Size: 1.4m - 2.5m (4.7ft - 8.2ft) Weight: 120kg - 249kg (264lbs - 550lbs) Top Speed: 56kph (35mph) Life Span: 10 - 15 years Habitat: Arid plains and savanna grasslands Conservation Status: Threatened Est. Population Size: 23,000 Fun Fact: Lives in small groups called prides!

White Rhinoceros
White Rhinoceros Name: White Rhinoceros Scientific Name: Ceratotherium simum Size: 3.4m - 4.2m (11ft - 14ft) Weight: 1,440kg - 3,600kg (3,168lbs - 7,920lbs) Top Speed: 42kph (30mph) Life Span: 45 - 50 years Habitat: Tropical bushland and savanna grasslands Conservation Status: Endangered Est. Population Size: 11,670 Fun Fact: The second largest animal on the land!


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