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2012, Wildlife

Vivian Miller – Male lions patrol a territory covering about 100 square milesKaren Ralston – Head rubbing is a form of greeting among lions and is a common social behavior in a pridePatsy Samuel – Male lions weight range from 330 to 550 pounds at adulthood
Terry Walker – Prides of lions consist of related females, offspring and a small number of adult malesTerry Walker – Lion populations are decreasing with an estimated 30-50 percent decline over the last two decadesLynne Calero - Elephant have a highly ordered and structured social fabric – especially in the breeding herds where the stable social group is made up of closely related adult females with their offspring of various ages
Terry Walker – Lionesses give birth to 1-4 cubs in a secluded den and then integrate them back into the pride at 6-8 weeks oldMarie Caner – Elephant calves are the center of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as three yearsMarie Caner – An elephant's trunk contains an estimated 40,000 different muscles (this unique picture was taken at a photo hide on the Mashatu Game Reserve)
Eric Gurwin – Elephant groups typically move 6 to 12 miles a day within Botswana's Okavango DeltaScott & Chris Hoover – Research has shown that male elephants can be quite social until it is time to fight for domination which have been known to end in deathMarie Caner – Lions are visual animals with eyes well adapted for use at low light, allowing for successful nocturnal hunting
Larry Lowenthal – A female elephant endures 22 months of pregnancy before giving birth to its young. Calves weigh approximately 250 pounds at birthLarry Lowenthal – Elephants have poor eyesight and depend on its other heightened senses of hearing and smell to surviveBill & Joan Richardson – An elephant in Zimbabwe's Mana Pools stands on its hind legs to reach a seed from the marula tree
Chris Swindal – A herd of elephant walk along Tarangire's dry river bed in search of food (Tanzania)Jeff Thompson – This baby elephant has not learned to use its trunk yet and relies on his mouth to drink waterJeff Thompson – Elephants cover their skin with mud to protect themselves from insects and sun exposure
Terry Walker – The elephant's trunk is a fusion of its lip and nose and a versatile appendageTerry Walker – A protective mother elephant keeps a watchful eye on a pride of lions who are intensely interested in the baby pachyderm (Hwange, Zimbabwe)Marie Caner – Male cheetah are very sociable and will group together for life. These 'coalitions' tend to be brothers although single males may join an existing group
Sonia Durrance – It is estimated that only 7,000 to 10,000 cheetah remain in the wild in East and Southern AfricaBetty Carolin – The mane on an adult male lion is unique among cats and makes the lion appear larger during confrontationsAlbert Jeans – Cheetah are daylight hunters that benefit from stealthy movements
Mary Lippold – Cheetah are most renown for their immense speed and can reach up to 75 mph for short periods of timeMadeline Maloon – A cheetah's black tear marks keeps sunlight out of its eyes and aid in hunting and seeing long distancesMargaret Maxwell – Cheetah cubs are left in their den every day when their mother goes out in search of food, leaving them vulnerable to predators
Karen McConnell – Cheetah cubs suckle from their mother for the first few months and then graduate to eating meatKaren Ralston – Although cheetah cannot 'roar' they make a variety of sounds including a high pitched 'yelp'Karen Ralston – The fur of a juvenile cheetah is thicker and darker than its mother which helps with camouflage
Chris Swindal – Cheetah hunt by vision rather than by scent. Termite mounds offer an elevated vantage point to seek out preyChris Swindal – Female cheetah typically have a litter of 2 or 3 cubs who live with her for up to 2 yearsChris Swindal – Young cubs practice hunting techniques with playful games
Ray Castor – Lions usually hunt in a coordinated group and stalk their prey, encircling the weakest member of a herdChris Swindal – Female cheetah are solitary animals apart from the 18 months they spend looking after their cubsJeff Thompson – Because of its fast reflexes and speed, cheetah do occasionally dine on birds to round out their diet
Lynne Calero – The giraffe is one of the tallest, strongest and most peaceful animals on earthSonia Durrance – Despite its long neck, the giraffe has the same number of vertebrae as a humanDustin & Synthia Jans – A giraffe's tongue is 18 to 20 inches long and blue-black in color
Karen McConnell – Giraffe are most vulnerable against predators when drinking. They only need to drink once every several days, getting most fluids from vegetationRick Baier – The golden monkey weighs 10-25 pounds and has a golden body, cheeks, and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-endVivian Delgado – Chimps live in groups called troops that can number from 30 to 80 members
Fred & Carol Gregory – Gorilla families are close knit, having up to 30 members and consist of at least one older male known as the silverbackLarry Hutfles – Despite its name, the blue monkey is not noticeably blueVivian Delgado – Lions live for 10-14 years in the wild
Alan Leshner – Gorillas have a unique nose print that researchers use to identify individualsAlan Leshner – There are roughly 700 mountain gorillas with nearly half living in the Virunga mountainsAlan Leshner – The DNA of gorillas is 98%-99% identical to that of humans and are the next closest living relatives to humans after two chimpanzee species
Larry Lowenthal – The blue monkey is found in forests within Central and East AfricaChris Swindal – Vervet monkeys live in troops of between 8 and 50 individualsMary Tasz – A baboon troop consists of a strict hierarchy among females and males and it dictates everything from mating to when they can drink at a waterhole
Marie Caner – A leopard's spots help them blend in to their surroundings and this camouflage aids in their stealth hunting skillsEric Gurwin – Males leopards weigh between 80-200 pounds and females between 60-132 poundsEric Gurwin – Leopard cubs take refuge in trees to avoid fatal confrontations with predators
Dustin & Synthia Jans – Lions spend much of their time resting and are inactive for about 20 hours a dayEric Gurwin – Leopards mate year round with a gestation period of 90-105 days and have litters of 2-4 cubs with usually 1-2 cubs survivingScott & Chris Hoover – Using a tree limb to its fullest advantage, this leopard gazes out across the plains in search of prey and predators
Mary Lippold – Leopard are solitary animals only coming together to mateMary Lippold – Leopards are known for their climbing skills and spend much of their days lounging in the crook of treesSteve Lowenkron – A mother leopard will take their young hunting at 4 months of age
Ross Pezzack – Leopards have very sharp eyesight and can spot prey at a distance of 1.5 kilometers (.93 mile). They also have keen sense of smell and hearingThomas Saville – Leopard have great diversity in coat color and rosette patterns depending on where they live in AfricaJonathan Tarlton – A leopard can drag a prey two-to three times its body weight up a tree
Vivian Delgado – An estimated 1.4 million wildebeest travel as a herd during the great migration as they search for grassChris Swindal – The migration of the wildebeest has no beginning or end, it is a continuous search for food and waterMary Lippold – A lion's 4 canine teeth are its most offensive weapon and are used to grab and kill its prey
Chris Swindal – The great migration moves in a clockwise direction and covers over 1800 miles across the Serengeti and Maasai MaraChris Swindal – One of the greatest risks wildebeest endure during their migration is crossing the Mara River. Many perish by being trampled or eaten by crocodilesVivian Delgado – The Cape buffalo is a relative of the domestic cow and is regarded as one of the Big Five
Dustin & Synthia Jans – Oxpeckers and Cape buffalo have a symbiotic relationship. The birds feast off the ticks and flies on the buffalo's hide while the buffalo gets an early warning signal against predators from the birdsPeter Cvek – Rhinos are herbivores and are characterized by their thick protective skin, small brain, and large keratin hornScott & Chris Hoover –This white rhino is recognizable due to its flat broad mouth used for grazing
Madeline Maloon – Young rhinos can fall prey to predators such as big cats, crocodiles, wild dog and hyena. Adult rhinos have few predators other than humansMary Lippold – Wild dog are usually on the move in search for prey and have very large home ranges, some averaging 900 square milesJeff Thompson – Jackal hunt small animals as well as scavenge from kills made by larger animals
Jeff Thompson – Wild dog can have up to 21 pups in a litter, more than any other dog speciesMary Lippold – Lion cubs are born with brown rosettes (spots) on their fur which will fade with ageTerry Walker – African wild dogs live in packs and are dominated by a monogamous breeding pair
Madeline Maloon – Zebras have to be constantly alert to predators such as lions and hyenasKaren Ralston – A wildebeest and crown cranes keep a watchful eye on a passing cheetahChris Swindal – Zebras are black animals with white stripes and the stripes are completely unique to each individual
Mary Tasz – It is believed that zebras have stripes to aid in camouflage as it confuses predators when a herd is running awayMary Tasz – Only male kudus have the spectacular corkscrew hornsJeff Thompson – The serval is a distinctive feline with spotted fur, long limbs and large, rounded ears that rotated independently
Jared Larew – Hippos are very territorial while in the water and will go to great lengths to defend their locationEric Gurwin – Meerkats are member of the mongoose family and have a diet of insects, lizards, birds and fruitAdam Sterling – Hippopotamus is from the ancient Greek meaning 'river horse'. They spend their days in the water to help stay cool
Jeff Thompson – Female hippos reach sexual maturity at 5-6 years and has a gestation period of eight monthsMadeline Maloon – An adult lioness require an average of 11 pounds of meat a day and the males about 15.5 poundsMarie Caner – Leopard tortoise are found in hot, dry scrubland areas in Southern Africa
Jonathan Tarlton – This painted frog clings to a thin reed in Botswana's Okavango DeltaJeff Thompson – Nile crocodile are one of Africa's most dangerous reptileDustin & Synthia Jans – Right whale migrate to Southern Africa to feed and give birth and are frequently seen off Cape Town's coast from May through November
Dustin & Synthia Jans – The great white shark is the largest predatory fish in the sea. They can be seen off Cape Town's coastWendy Maloon – Lions vary in size from Eastern and Southern Africa with lions in the south being 5% heavier than their relatives in East Africa