It is quite evident today that the presence of all the specie of fauna is vital for human existence. This has called out for missions all over the globe towards preserving wildlife. When it comes to the animal kingdom, a very prominent comparison is witnessed to be made between the African and Asian species.
African wildlife has been fascinating wildlife lovers from a very long time. Though, the region was seemingly more popular for its hunting activities, today its rich heritage has grabbed attention from all over the world.
In asia, especially in India, there are certain animals which find their close counterparts in Africa. This is why asiatic species have also turned eyes of appreciating lot towards them.
While Africa is known for its Big Five, India is known for its own Big Five, which actually came into being after their comparisons with the African animal species…
Africa’s Big Five
During the late 19th century, there was heavy hunting activity going on in the African forests. Hunters from all over the world came in to try their hunting game in the most sought after locations for the same in the world. The species of the wild were called the game and the hunters, therefore, came to be known as ‘Big Game Hunters’. There were five specific animals which were large in size and were quite challenging when it came to hunting them. These animals included African elephant, Black rhino, Cape buffalo, African lion and African leopard. Hence, these five magnificent animals gained the title of being Africa’s Big Five.
African elephant is a huge herbivore mammal which tends to hide in tall grasses and charges quite often. There are two distinct types of elephants in Africa called the African Forest Elephant and the African Bush Elephant.
Also called the white rhinoceros, the black rhino is the easiest to hunt among the big five. This might be the reason behind it being critically endangered now.
A large horned species, the cape buffalo is the most dangerous among the big five. Most of the deaths of hunters are caused by cape buffalos. Ambushing and wounding other animals as well, they are avid attackers to be afraid of.
African lions live in the savannah where tall grasses and shrubs provide them with natural cover and camouflage. Being unpredictable, they charge when annoyed or confronted with danger.
African leopards are solitary in nature. They try to avoid humans, fearing danger from them, as far as possible. Acquiring licenses for leopard hunting is the most difficult in Africa.
India’s Big Five
India’s wilderness wealth is no less than Africa. The country consists of forests ranging from dense to moderate. Innumerable species of animals reside in the country due to the difference in climatic conditions at various places. With rich wildlife, India is bound to face comparisons with Africa in the field. As a matter of fact, India has its own big five competing against the African big five.
Asiatic elephant is the most magnificent species of India. They have entered the endangered species list recently due to habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation.
Asiatic lion is smaller in size than the African lion but is no less in aggression. They are endangered now and are mostly found in the Gir forests in Gujarat.
Asiatic one-horned rhino competes with African rhino. It is listed as a vulnerable species in IUCN Red list.
The Gaur, also called Indian bison is the closest species to the cape buffalo that South Asia possesses. The largest surviving bovine, it is quite fierce and is known to attack aggressively when faced with minor inconvenience.
Asiatic cheetah is extinct today and efforts are being made to reintroduce the species by restoring their habitat and artificially re-establishing cheetah populations in this region. It’ place is taken by the Bengal tiger in the Indian big five.
The comparison, though unfair, bring out the best of fauna of the two wildlife rich regions. The Big Five still remain the most dangerous and difficult species to explore and have a better look at. One will be lucky enough to witness all of them in a lifetime.