Eleven things I learned on safari

Tanzania 2014 (39)

  1. Lions won’t attack humans unless directly threatened. Despite our deep fear of these animals, unless you jump out at them within a few feet they will just run away.
  2. Fire ants can kill baby humans. Apparently they really hurt adult humans when they bite too.
  3. Baby warthogs are adorable. They’re so ugly that they’re cute.
  4. Giraffes make no audible sound. Apparently they communicate using their eyes and touch. I have also read that they use infrasound, inaudible to us, to communicate over long distances.
  5. Leopards are selfish. They will kill for sport and won’t share their food with other animals–they sound a lot like humans.
  6. Cheetahs and leopards are solitary. Only lions form social units, prides consisting of one male (sometimes two brothers) and several females.
  7. The sound an elephant makes rubbing against a tree sounds roughly like sandpaper on wood. Although their skin looks just like tree bark, it must be tougher.
  8. Jackals are really cute. I have no idea why they have such a bad reputation.
  9. Lions hunt by brute strength, cheetahs by speed and leopards by stealth and cunning.
  10. The hippopotamus is the most dangerous animal on the savannah.
  11. The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) could become extinct within our lifetimes. They also love watermelon (okay that’s two things).

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