Last Updated on March 14, 2016
We loved spending so much time with the Wild Cats in South Africa. The following are some of our favorite photos of these incredible animals taken during our stay in South Africa, along with some interesting facts we learned.
The average pride consists of about 15 lions five (tw0 females with their young and two or three territorial males) that are usually brothers or pride mates. Lions at rest are blissfully peaceful, sprawl all over each other and have a lot of affectionate nuzzling, purring and licking.
Lionesses are more agile and faster than males and therefore do most of the hunting. Males are much bigger and defend the pride and territory. When food becomes available, male lions are first to feed and grab the “lion’s share” of the kill. Next to dine are the lionesses and lastly the cubs. Lionesses can become quite vicious while fighting over food!
Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal. The cheetah is aerodynamically built for speed. They can accelerate from zero to 40 mph in three strides and will reach their full speed of 70 mph within seconds. As the cheetah runs, only one foot touches the ground at a time.
Once a cheetah has made a kill, it eats quickly and must keep an eye out for scavengers that could steal its kill. Other animals that may try to take away its kill are: lions, leopards, jackals and hyenas.
Today’s domestic cats are generally believed to be descendants of the African Wild Cat, which were originally tamed by the Egyptians over 4,000 years ago to help control rats and mice raiding their granaries.
The Caracal in appearance resembles the Lynx in having characteristic dark tufts on its large, pointed ears. The backs of its ears are black – the name Caracal is derived from the Turkish word ‘karakulak’, meaning ‘black ear’.
Servals are cute as they roam around as they have long legs, with their the hind legs longer than the front legs. They have a long neck, small head and very large ears.
In the wild, Leopards are solitary and will go out of their way to avoid one another. Black Leopards have the same spots and marking as a normal leopard, but these markings are harder to see on the black fur. The coloring on their fur is absolutely amazing.
What is your favorite wild cat and why?