Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Mammals

Wild Cattle

Wild cattle are larger members of a scientific grouping that includes antelope, goats, and sheep. We have herds of gaur, bantengs, and Cape buffalo living in large field exhibits. You can see the breeding herd of Cape buffalo during an Africa Tram tour. To see the gaur, bantengs, and our bachelor buffalo herd, take a Caravan Safari or Cart Safari. We also have ankole cattle, a domesticated breed native to Africa famous for their huge horns.

Camel

Humans domesticated camels 3,000 years ago. Today, humans still depend on them for transport across arid environments. They can carry an extra 200 pounds (90 kilograms) while walking in the desert. Camels can travel as fast as horses, but can also endure legendary periods without food or water.

Przewalski’s Horse

How do you say Przewalski's horse? It is pronounced sheh-VAL-skee or per-zhuh-VAL-skee or even PREZ-val-skee, depending on the speaker. It is also known as the Asiatic wild horse or Mongolian wild horse. No matter what you call it, the Przewalski's horse is the closest living relative of the domestic horse.

Greater One-horned Rhino

Many people describe these rhinos as armor-plated, but they are just covered with a layer of skin that has many folds. Greater one-horned rhinos are native to the humid, swampy areas of Northeast India and Nepal.

All rhinos enjoy a good soak in the mud. But for greater one-horned rhinos, this helps them get through times of high humidity, when insects can be a problem. Plus, that cool mud feels so good! Rhinos may often share a wallowing spot without any fighting, as if it’s neutral ground.

Somali Wild Ass

Wild members of the horse family (horses, zebras, and wild asses) have long held a strong fascination for humans. The Somali wild ass is the only ass with striped legs. Its small, narrow hooves help it move through its stony habitat. This surefooted design led to the domestication of Somali wild asses by the Egyptians more than 6,000 years ago!

Nile Lechwe

Most people have never heard of Nile lechwe (pronounced LETCH-way or LEECH-wee). They are antelope native to the floodplains of the Nile River Valley. Their long, slender hooves help them walk or run through their swampy, muddy home. While these long hooves are handy for moving through the water, on dry land Nile lechwe tend to look clumsy. Male Nile lechwe go to the water to fight, often submerging their locked heads.

Antelope

All antelope species have horns. In some species they are only found on the males; in others, both males and females have them. Horns stay attached, unlike a deer’s antlers that shed each year. Some antelope horns twist in interesting spirals; others are ridged. Still others grow in wide curves with a sharp point on the end.

The Safari Park opened to the public in 1972, but we started moving animals into our field enclosures two years earlier. Among the Park’s first residents were sable antelope and gemsbok.

Zebra

Zebras are Africa’s striped horses. Grevy’s zebras are the largest of the three zebra subspecies. They live in semi-arid grasslands in eastern Africa.

African Rhinos

Black rhinos and white rhinos are the same color—a brownish gray! Both live in eastern and southern Africa but eat different foods. The wide mouth of the white rhino is perfect for grazing on grasses. The more narrow, prehensile lip of the black rhino is great for pulling leaves and shrubs into its mouth. Other names used for these two species are broad-lipped and hook-lipped. Guess which name belongs to which rhino!

Giraffe

Giraffes are the tallest land animals, able to look into a second-story window without having to stand on tiptoes! It takes a lot of leaves to fuel such large animals. Giraffes may eat up to 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of food per day, nibbling on leaves from Africa’s acacia trees. These trees often have thorns that keep most animals from munching on them, but those thorns don't stop giraffes! They just use their long tongue to reach around the thorns.

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