ESI Founders, Rhodes and Sarah Robinson Travel to Africa

Rhodes and Sarah recently returned from a photo safari to Sossusvlei and Etosha National Parks in Namibia, knocking it off their "bucket list". We are excited to share these photographs for you enjoyment. 

*Please note: Photos are not copyrighted, and if you wish to make a print and share, please feel free.

 

Perhaps the most recoginizable is the lion (Panthera leo) whose closest relative cat is the Jaguar. Male lions such as this one in Etosha National Park range in size from 300-550 pounds. This male was in his prime and was paired a lioness for serious family planning. We watched them from approximately 50 feet as the mated and relaxed for over two hours.

RR Africa

 

The spotted or laughing hyena (Crocutus crocutus) is the most common carnivore in Africa. While frequently considered to be scavengers, hyenas are also skilled hunters which will take all but the largest animals such as the buffalo. They are in their own scientific group although their behavior is similar to dogs. Once during the trip an elephant had died at a water hole, and on the evening of the second warm day, the odor had attracted scores of hyenas to the carcass for a gory dining orgy.

hyena

 

Zebras are incredibly photogenic but sometimes they are just an ass.

If any animal on the planet is as recognizable as a lion, it must be the zebra. This is Burchell’s zebra ( Equus quagga burchelli), one of three living species of zebras. They grow to weigh 700-800 pounds, and unlike their biological cousins, horses and donkeys,  zebras have never been successfully domesticated. They are grazers, eating grass almost exclusively.  Why the stripes exist is not fully understood, but we do know that the patterns are unique to each animal, like our finger prints. The stripes serve to minimize the attraction of flies and biting insects. Simon and Garfunkel in The Zoo noted that Zebras are reactionary. Like many species living on the African plains, zebras are very wary, and being at the water hole is stressful because someone is always watching you!  Thus, the slightest flinch or unexpected motion generally causes an immediate panic out of the water. The herd can quickly settle down and finish their business of hydration before moving on. They do not hang around the water hole for long.

 

Zebras

 

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