The African lion is a very large cat. Lions once roamed throughout southern Europe, Africa and southwest Asia. Today the African lion can only be found in sub-Saharan Africa and a small pocket of Asiatic lions are found in southern India.
This is a two-humped camel. They are found in the Gobi desert and the grasslands (steppes) of Asia. The temperature extremes of its natural habitat mean that the camel is able to withstand very hot days and freezing cold nights.
The tapir is related to the horse and rhinoceros. Today’s tapirs closely resemble those found roaming the Earth 35 million years ago. The Brazilian or Lowland Tapir is nearly always found close to water and is an excellent swimmer. It is fast and sure-footed on land too, even on the roughest terrain.
Clumsy on land, but changing to graceful acrobats once in the ocean, a sea lion in the water is a magnificent sight. Their effortless twists, turns and porpoising through the water easily show why a sea lion is such a good underwater hunter.
The baboon is the largest type of monkey. Hamadryas baboons originate from Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. They prefer rocky desert and sub-desert regions. These very intelligent primates are endangered in the wild due to loss of habitat.
The hippopotamus, literally translated, means river horse. They spend their days in water as their skin is very susceptible to sun-burning. They are herbivores consuming between 1 and 1.5% of their body weight in vegetation every day!
Kafue Lechwe can only be found in the Kafue Flats area in Zambia, Africa. These lechwe live specifically in swamps and wetlands. Their hooves are long and wide-spreading which enables them to move easily on marshy ground.
Lemurs are found on the island of Madagascar off the east coast of Africa. They are primates and found nowhere else in the world. Madagascar is a biodiversity hotspot; animals found here are unique to the island.
The White-crowned mangabey originates from the tropical rainforest areas of central and West Africa. The wild population has been reduced by over-hunting and destruction of habitat over the last 30 years. Remaining groups are living in separated fragments of forest and therefore exact numbers are not known, but there are not thought to be more than a few thousand left.
The Meerkat is a small mammal and member of the Mongoose family. They originate from the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa.
The Patagonian Mara is like no other rodent you’ve seen. However, with long hare-like ears and a body resembling a small deer, it’s built for speed.
The iconic symbol of Australia, the kangaroo is the largest marsupial mammal.
A relative of the kangaroo, the red-necked wallaby is actually grey/brown in colour. They get their name from the rust-coloured fur found at the base of its neck.
Deforestation, hunting and a series of cyclones almost wiped out the native population and in 1974 there were just 70 left in the wild. Since then much work has been done to breed this fascinating species in captivity and it is now estimated that there are over 2,000 living in collections like Flamingo Land all over the world.
There are currently 9 different sub-species of giraffes roaming the plains of Africa. One of the most endangered are the Rothschild’s with only a few hundred remaining in the wild.
Scimitar-horned Oryx were once widespread throughout the semi-desert north and south of the Sahara, but are now extinct in the wild.
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the tigers, compared to the Siberian tiger which is the largest. The stripes of the Sumatran tiger are narrower than other tigers and they have larger manes. The males are bigger than the females but they still only reach 2.5m in length. Their small size allows them to travel through the dense Sumatran rainforest with ease.
In 1974 numbers of Vicugnas had dropped to just 6,000 animals. Now they number around 125,000 due to conservation measures and government protection.
The Western Grey is one of the largest and most common species of Kangaroo and is suited to life in the outback of Australia by not needing much water.
The White Rhino can grow as tall as 6.5 feet (2 metres) and 13 feet (4 metres) long. It weighs about 5000 pounds (2300kg).
Living in small family groups with one male, one female and their offspring, these primates are very different in shape and locomotion compared to most other primates, and are surprisingly fast and agile in their forest canopy home.