3 Animals that have Mastered the Art of Social Distancing!

As we have all been struggling to adapt to changing social norms, here are inspiration from nature to learn how to better adapt to social distancing.

Leopard

You will often find this cat practicing social distancing while relaxing on the branches of an Acacia tree in the Serengeti, well camouflaged and trying its best to hide from any human safari enthusiasts.  Leopards are a member of The Big Five.  They hunt and live alone, and only associate with another adult long enough to mate.

Leopards are most active in the hours of dawn and your best chances of seeing them are either as you head to a hot air balloon safari at dawn, or during an early morning game drive, just after sunrise.

Fun fact: Similar to a first-year university student, offspring remain close to their mothers for several months. Often getting maternal handouts such as free food as they try to adapt to ‘adulthood’ and hunt for themselves.

 

Black Rhino

The Black Rhino weighs an average of between 2,000 to 3,000 pounds (900 to 1,360 kilos), and they are therefore not very good at hiding due to their size. The black rhino is strictly a browser (not the internet kind but the kind that likes to browse leaves, herbs and shrubs for food).

Your best chance of spotting one of these endangered beauties is in the open grasslands of the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania.  Male Rhinos are typically solitary, though they are friendly when meeting other male Rhinos at the watering hole and will enjoy having a drink with the lads.

Fun fact: Lions known as ‘the king of the jungle’ are frightened by the Black Rhino.  With their front horn, volatile temper, poor eyesight and high speed, the vegetarian black rhino can make for a scary opponent.

 

Pangolin

The most socially distant on the list is the ground pangolin. This shy, scaly mammal is so good at self-isolating that it will often evade even the most skilled safari guides for their entire career.  Not only is this animal very evasive, it is also a master of camouflage.

Pangolins are about the size of a house cat and are covered in protective scales, almost like a knight in shining armor. This is meant to protect them from predators and not necessarily to attract a mate. Legend has it that the reclusive pangolin can be sighted on the plains of the Serengeti, with the aid of night vision binoculars.

Fun fact: Did you know that World Pangolin Day is on the third Saturday of February, every year?  Although the pangolin is not a very famous animal, it has a special day in the calendar, dedicated to the conservation awareness of this endangered species.

 

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