Top 5 Fierce
2. African Hippo
5. Nile Crocodile
Panthera tigris altaica
STATUS: Critically Endangered -
150-300 in the wild.
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.
solitary, except in breeding season or mothers with
Deer, wild pigs
and cattle, sometimes lynxes, farm animals, even bears.
They usually return to a kill for another meal.
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
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
From 1,4m high at the shoulder and weighing 1,400 to
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.
1 baby is
born away from the
herd, the mother rejoins with
the baby at 10 to 14 days old.
Cows are very
Rivers and lakes in grasslands.
Africa - East and
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.
to Endangered in places
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.
Selective omnivores: mostly
plant matter - berries and other fruits, grass, tubers,
also insect larvae, rodents, fish, carrion, young deer
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.
Russia (old USSR),
DID YOU KNOW..?
well-known Grizzly bear is a sub-species of Brown bear.
Probably the most widespread snake in Africa. Thick body
with a large, triangular head.
to light brown with black, pale-edged chevrons on the
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).
severe pain, swellings in the bitten limb, haemorrhage
and nausea. Death is caused by secondary effects, eg.
In almost all cases, antivenin is
ground-living mice and rats, also birds, lizards, toads
and even other snakes.
Ovoviviparous - females retain the eggs until the
young are ready to hatch.
Litters of 20 - 40 young
are born in late summer.
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.
Endangered in parts of Africa. Declining in South
can live for about 45 years in the wild, up to 80 years
Adults of both sexes may easily exceed
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
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.
Rivers, freshwater marshes,
estuaries and mangrove swamps, even ocean beaches.
DID YOU KNOW..?
Crocodiles do not have tongues. Instead, a 'gular flap'
allows them to eat under water by closing the gullet.