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Top 5 Fierce
1. Siberian tiger
2. African Hippo
3. Brown Bear
4. Puff Adder
5. Nile Crocodile

Animal Profiles

Top 5 Fierce

Siberian Tiger

Panthera tigris altaica
Family: Felidae
STATUS: Critically Endangered - about
150-300 in the wild.

FEATURES

The largest living cat - Males weigh from 180 to 360 kg, females 100 to 167 kg. Males are from 2.7 to 3.3 meters long, females 2.4 to 2.75 meters.
Nocturnal and solitary, except in breeding season or mothers with cubs.

DIET
Deer, wild pigs and cattle, sometimes lynxes, farm animals, even bears.
They usually return to a kill for another meal.

BREEDING
2 to 5 cubs are born blind and helpless after about 14 weeks gestation. Cubs will stay with their mother for up to 3 years, but only 2 may survive to maturity.
Females breed about once every 2-3 years.

DISTRIBUTION
Temperate deciduous
mountain forest.

Asia - northern
China, Siberia.

DID YOU KNOW..?
Last century, 3 of the 8 tiger sub-species in S.E. Asia were wiped out! The remaining 5 are all endangered.

They are hunted for skins and body parts, which are used as charms, ornaments, and "medicine."

HIPPOPOTAMUS

Hippopotamus amphibius
Family: Hippopotamidae
STATUS: Vulnerable

FEATURES

From 1,4m high at the shoulder and weighing 1,400 to 1,800 kg.
Herds averaging 10 to 15 animals spend the days sunning on sandbanks or submerged in water, emerging to graze at dusk.
They may travel up to 30km to find food.

DIET
Grass.

BREEDING
1 baby is born away from the
herd, the mother rejoins with
the baby at 10 to 14 days old.
Cows are very protective.

DISTRIBUTION
Rivers and lakes in grasslands.

Africa - East and Central, eastern
South Africa.

DID YOU KNOW..?

Hippos lose much water through their skin, making it necessary for them to stay in water during much of the day and to feed at night.

Brown Bear

Ursus arctos
Family: Ursidae
STATUS: Vulnerable to Endangered in places

FEATURES

Males can reach a weight of 275kg, females 180kg. Colour varies - cream to cinnamon to brown to almost black.
They have moderate sight and hearing, but the large nose shows that their sense of smell is superb.

DIET
Selective omnivores: mostly plant matter - berries and other fruits, grass, tubers, also insect larvae, rodents, fish, carrion, young deer and livestock.

BREEDING
The female gives birth during winter semi-dormancy. 2 to 3 under-developed cubs are born in a den (in a cave or hollow tree). They remain there for a few months.

DISTRIBUTION
Russia (old USSR), Europe.

DID YOU KNOW..?

The well-known Grizzly bear is a sub-species of Brown bear.

Puff Adder

Bitis Arietans
Family:Viperidae
STATUS: Very Common

FEATURES

Probably the most widespread snake in Africa. Thick body with a large, triangular head.
Colour: yellow-brown to light brown with black, pale-edged chevrons on the back.
They rarely exceed 1 m long in S.A.
Largely nocturnal and common around human settlements.

Responsible for most snakebites in Africa. Venom: Mainly cytotoxic (damages tissue).
It causes severe pain, swellings in the bitten limb, haemorrhage and nausea. Death is caused by secondary effects, eg. kidney failure.
In almost all cases, antivenin is essential.

DIET
Mainly ground-living mice and rats, also birds, lizards, toads and even other snakes.

BREEDING
Ovoviviparous - females retain the eggs until the young are ready to hatch.
Litters of 20 - 40 young are born in late summer.

DISTRIBUTION
Open grasslands, arid plains to swamps, forest and savanna. Avoid extreme desert, dense forests and altitudes from 2500 meters above sea level.

Throughout Africa, north and south of the Sahara, Morocco to Southern Arabi

DID YOU KNOW..?

Puff adders have very long fangs:
12 - 18 mm.

Nile Crocodile

Crocodylus niloticus
Family: Crocodylidae
STATUS: Endangered in parts of Africa. Declining in South Africa.

FEATURES

Crocodiles can live for about 45 years in the wild, up to 80 years in captivity.
Adults of both sexes may easily exceed
225 kg.

DIET
Babies eat spiders, frogs, insects, snakes and lizards. Fish make up to 70% of the diet of adults. Large crocs capture zebras, antelope, warthogs, large domestic animals and human beings.

BREEDING
The female lays 25 - 100 eggs in a hole in
a sandy bank, then covers them with sand. The babies hatch 3 months later, guarded and helped by mom.

DISTRIBUTION
Rivers, freshwater marshes, estuaries and mangrove swamps, even ocean beaches.
Africa, Madagascar.

DID YOU KNOW..?
Crocodiles do not have tongues. Instead, a 'gular flap' allows them to eat under water by closing the gullet.




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