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Giraffes Eat Bones--and Other Things I Learned on Safari [Slide Show]

The amazing things I learned about animals while on safari in South Africa
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GIRAFFE ENCORE:

Just because I'm grateful to live in a world in which such a beautiful, bizarre creature exists.....[ More ]

MOVING TARGET:

Poachers are a problem in Madikwe. Some organized criminal groups are now darting or shooting white rhinos like this one (as well as black rhinos) from helicopters, harvesting the horns to sell on the black market.....[ More ]

HELLO KITTY:

It's unnerving how stealthy lions can be. I had my camera trained on the two in the background when this adult male padded into the frame without so much as rustling a blade of grass.....[ More ]

STRIPED SURVEILLANCE:

These zebras were all focused on a baby red hartebeest (antelope) that had been orphaned and was wandering on the other side of a dirt road. Shortly after this photo was taken, the zebras took off across the road and charged at the little hartebeest and kept charging until the poor thing took the hint and ran away.....[ More ]

ISLAND MOUNTAINS:

We interrupt this critter fest to bring you a landscape appreciation moment. Here are Madikwe's island mountains—or inselbergs, as they're called—one of its defining features.....[ More ]

HAPPY HOUR:

In contrast to the raging bull, this group of elephants was totally relaxed and delightful to watch as they drank and bathed.....[ More ]

COMING THROUGH:

This huge bull elephant scattered the wild dogs on his way to the watering hole, where he proceeded to scare off the kudu (antelope) and other would-be drinkers. The tearlike secretion visible near his eye indicates he is in musth—a period in which reproductive hormones surge—which might explain his aggressive behavior.....[ More ]

BORN TO RUN:

These baby wildebeest (rear) are just a few days old at most and already keeping up with the herd. If they don't, they'll become food for leopards and hyenas in the area. The four antelopes in the front are blesbok.....[ More ]

HARDLY HIDING:

Some birds are serious about getting noticed, like this crimson-breasted shrike.....[ More ]

BIRD OR BRANCH?:

Sometimes birds blend in with their surroundings, like this gray go-away bird, so named for its alarm call, which is said to sound like "go away."....[ More ]

BONE-EATER:

That's not a cigar in this giraffe's mouth—it's a bone. Apparently, although giraffes mostly eat the leaves of thorny trees such as acacias, they occasionally supplement their diets with minerals from other sources, such as bones they find on the ground.....[ More ]

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