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Xinkhova 2:2 Female

Xinkhova 2:2 Female

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Robert Ball

Contributor

Robbie developed a passion for the African bush from many visits to his family’s small holding in a greater conservancy just outside Johannesburg. Living in the big city his whole life, he always found refuge in the outdoors and has grown to appreciate ...

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16 Comments

on The Big, The Little and the Ugly (and one more…)

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Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Fantastic lists, the spider-hunting wasp and the shrikes leave ma a bit in horror, there are such insects and birds here too, belonging to the same family group, doing the same. Gerbils were among the first pets of my sister, they are surprisingly clever little animals. All over the world there are examples of those categories but mongoose and black-footed cats were the first that came to my mind, as far as Africa is concerned. They are incredibly brave and ferocious when they meet enemies or large preys. If you consider how small they are… in the big I’d add whales. No one ugly really!

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Would consider some snakes in the last category.

Dave Mills
Senior Digital Ranger

Nice job, Robbie, and some new categories to look for on the next visit.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Thanks, Robert. I had known the big, the small and the ugly ones, but not the fierce ones. Now I know.
Seeing a honey batcher and watching it for some time, is definitely on my list. Next time, maybe…

Martha Myers
Explorer

Loved your five Fierce “Badasses”! Happy 2023 to you and Shannon.

Chelsea Allard
Master Tracker

What a fun perspective! I wasn’t familiar with the “Little Five” but adore them all. Of the “Ugly Five” I’d say the only one truly unfortunate to look at (in my non-expert option) is the poor Marabou Stork. The others I find beautiful in their uniqueness. The fierce category was well represented. Certainly, all of those creatures are fierce their own way.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

This is a terrific article Robert as most African travelers know about the Big Five, but you’ve introduced us to other little known creatures such as the rhino beetle. I’ve never seen one but now I’m going to be looking. Your blog is print worthy and will go into my “Africa” file. Thank you for gathering this information and including it into one blog.

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Well described the fierce and the ugly groups. That honey badger is forsure to be feared and left alone. Dro go birds are really non stop fighters. The big five is still my favorite and the small five are really cute. The ugly for me is forsure the hyena and the stork. So interesting to learn about these incredible animals and needed for the eco system to keep going on.

Gawie Jordaan
Digital Tracker

I love the guts of the badger! and having read the part about the snake venom i love them even more!

Michael Kalm
Guest contributor

THAT is quite a spectrum!

Anita Santoro
Senior Digital Ranger

Totally disagree that hyenas are ugly!!! 🙁 The fierce five definitely qualify however!!! WOW!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

What a super article, enjoyed it a lot 😀😀😀

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Robert for your interesting perspective on some of Africas wonderful wildlife.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Interesting blog, Robert! To your fierce five I’d probably add the Porcupine. I remember a blog photo/video of not too long ago when a single porcupine fended off 4 or 5 lions, in the dark, and walked away unscathed. Pretty fierce little guys I’d say!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Robert, This is a great reminder of the diversity of the wildlife – big and small!

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

Fierce Five – I love it! I have never seen the elephant shrew or rhino beetle – I wonder how common that would be?

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