Five of South Africa’s most endangered mammals

South Africa’s exciting and magnificent array of wildlife will truly take your breath away.  During a visit to Kruger Park Lodge there is no doubt that a wildlife safari will be at the top of your agenda (and a spot of golf won’t go amiss either!)  Seeing striking and impressive African wildlife in their natural habitat can be an exhilarating experience that will stick in your memory for the rest of your life.  However, as abundant as Africa’s wildlife may seem there are plenty of species that are struggling to survive after suffering from habitat loss and poaching.

Here are five of South Africa’s most endangered mammals, you may even be lucky enough to spot some of them during your visit to Kruger National Park.

Black and White Rhinos – Black and white Rhinos are considered to be South Africa’s most endangered animals but if you’re lucky you may be able to spot one during your golf safari holiday.  Sadly these magnificent creatures are being poached out of existence because a lot of money can be made selling their keratin horns in Asia.  The demand for rhino horns in Asia is high; they are used for making ornamental carvings and in traditional Asian medicine.

Grevy’s Zebra – There are approximately 2000 Grevy’s Zebras left in the wild.  The population of Grevy’s Zebras has declined for a number of reasons including disease, drought, habitat loss, and being hunted and killed for meat.   You are unlikely to spot a Grevy’s Zebra in Kruger Park as their population is generally confined to the horn of Africa.  However there are plenty of other zebra species that you can easily spot in Kruger Park.

Rothschild Giraffe – Rothschild giraffes are easy to distinguish from more common species of giraffe by their pale coloured markings and their complete lack of markings below the knee.  Unfortunately they have become extremely endangered due to habitat loss and poaching and there are now thought to be less than 670 remaining in the wild.  The Rothschild Giraffe can only be found in Kenya and Uganda meaning that you won’t bump into any in Kruger Park.  However if you’re lucky you’ll be able to spot other species of these graceful and gentle giants.

African Wild Dog – The Kruger National Park is proud to be considered a sanctuary for the world’s most endangered carnivores, the African Wild Dogs.  African Wild Dog’s are critically endangered with only about 6000 left in the wild, most of which find refuge here in Kruger Park.  The wild dogs are often shot and poisoned by farmers who fear they will kill their livestock and have also suffered from loss of habitat.  Keep an eye out for African Wild Dogs at all times during your trip, if you’re lucky you’ll be able to spot packs of these rare dogs in the wild.

Riverine Rabbit – The Rivervine Rabbit is one of the world’s most endangered mammals with only an estimated 250 of them left in the wild.  The Rivervine Rabbit faces threats from all angles with the species having suffered significant habitat loss, predation, trapping and being hunted for sport.  The Rivervine rabbit can only be found in Karoo National Park in South Africa.

As well as keeping an eye out for some of these endangered creatures there are plenty more impressive flora and fauna to spy during a trip to Kruger Park including aardvark, bush pig, baboon, leopard, lion, cheetah, bushbaby, hippo, honey badger, porcupine, wildebeest, elephant and many more.

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