Hippopotamus

Bibi’s first intro to the hippo pool in Hippo Cove

Hippos spend the majority of the day soaking in water or mud to keep their skin moist and bodies cool. When submerged, just their eyes, ears and nostrils stick out of the water so they can still see, hear and smell what’s going on around them. At night, they come out to munch on grass.

White-Faced Saki

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It’s easy to tell whether an adult white-faced saki monkey is male or female. The males are all black except for the white fur around their faces while the females are overall brown.

 

Cape Porcupine

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When threatened, the Cape porcupine erects its spines and quills to look bigger. Contrary to popular belief, a porcupine cannot shoot its spines and quills. However, the spines and quills can embed in an intruder’s flesh if they come into contact. The porcupine grows new spines and quills to replace those that are lost.

Southern Tamandua

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Also called the lesser anteater, the tamandua uses its long snout to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. Long claws enable it to dig into nests, and a long sticky tongue licks up the insects. A single tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day!

Golden-headed Lion Tamarin

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Golden-headed lion tamarins are tree-dwelling monkeys that live in small social groups with a single breeding female. Offspring often remain in the group as they mature to help raise their younger siblings, thereby sacrificing their own reproductive opportunities.

Screaming Hairy Armadillo

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As its name implies, the screaming hairy armadillo squeals when threatened, perhaps by a hungry jaguar. Resting inside a burrow dug deep into a sand dune, it escapes the heat of a summer day. In winter, the armadillo is more active during the day.

Capybara

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The capybara lives in a social group of 10 or more led by a dominant male. Males mark their territory by rubbing a scent gland on top of its snout, called the morillo, onto vegetation. With slightly webbed toes, the capybara is an excellent swimmer and often rushes into the water to escape predators.

Meerkat

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Like other mongooses, meerkats spend the night in a burrow. In the early morning, they stand tall on their hind legs, exposing their bellies to the sun to warm up before the day’s foraging activities can begin. A nearly bald patch of darker skin acts like a solar panel to soak up the sun’s rays.

It’s fascinating to watch the meerkats work together. While the rest of the mob scurries about rustling up grub, they take turns standing tall on…

African Painted Dog

Female painted dog, Imara, runs around Painted Dog Valley

For African painted dogs, also known as wild dogs, cooperation is the name of the game and survival is the aim. Painted dogs live in large, extended families, in which all group members work together for the good of the pack. The leaders of the pack, an alpha male and female, are the only ones that breed. Instead of leaving the pack, their offspring stick around as adults and help raise their younger siblings. Painted dogs give birth to an…

Thomson’s Gazelle

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One of the gazelles commonly seen on the savannahs of Eastern Africa, the Thomson’s gazelle lives in small herds. Males sport foot-long horns while females have much shorter spikes, if at all. Tails flicking wildly and heads butting down low, male Thomson’s gazelles put on a show. Back and forth, they dance like boxers in a ring, pushing head to head, horns to horns, until one of them backs down. Why all this fighting? It’s all part of the mating…