Named for the fleshy bumps on the side of a male’s head, the warthog also sports two upwardly curved tusks that can reach up to two feet long in males. Males use these tusks in battles for females during the mating season. The facial warts protect males from sustaining serious injury during competition.

Golden-headed Lion Tamarin


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

screaming hairy armadillo

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.


2015-05-13 Zoo Gladys Mona Bonobos Capabaras 1 584

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.


2015-05-04 Zoo Meerkats Lions Gladys Harambe 3 641

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


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…



Slight antelopes known for their graceful running and agile leaping, impalas can leap more than 30 feet across and 10 feet high. Males have long spiral-shaped horns that are used to protect their females and guard their territory. Impalas graze in large herds and bark loudly to alert each other when predators are near.

Lesser Kudu


A large, striped antelope, the lesser kudu is always on the lookout for predators like lions and painted dogs. Listening with its large ears, the kudu barks and flees with its tail up if it detects danger. Adult males, called bulls, generally live a solitary life, whereas females live in small groups.

Horned Males
Males have incredible spiraled horns. When they fight, they lock horns and have a shoving match.



Warthogs are very vocal wild pigs that live in family groups called sounders. They communicate with each other through grunts, squeals, growls and squeaks. Males are easily recognized with two pairs of tusks protruding from their snouts.  These tusks are rarely used, however, as warthogs are not territorial and only fight over females for a very short time during breeding season.