The Big 5

Fascinating Wildlife


The most social of the cat family, lions live in prides consisting of one or two males, up to seven females and a dozen or more cubs. Standing 48 inches high at the shoulder, males average just over 400 pounds, females under 300 pounds.

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The strongest climbers of the big cats can kill prey much larger than themselves. Males can grow to over six feet long and 150-plus pounds; females are about two-thirds the size of males.

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The African elephant is the world’s largest land mammal, often towering 11 feet or more and weighing up to six-plus tons. Its trunk is used to eat, smell, carry, dig, trumpet and spray itself with water.

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Rhinos stand about five feet at the shoulder; adult black ( or hooked-lipped) rhinos weigh one to 1.5 tons and white rhinos weigh over two tons (The white rhino derives its name from the Dutch “weit,” meaning wide, relating to its wide, square muzzle.)

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These large, ox-like beasts stand over five feet at the shoulder, and grow up to 1,700 pounds (females weigh slightly less). Herds can contain as many as 1,000 or more buffalo.

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