Kruger National Park

Friday, January 18, 2008, 02:59 AM
Posted by Ashley Sabol

Kruger National Park is one of the biggest game reserves located in South Africa. It is well known for its wildlife and safari experience. When individuals come to visit the National Park they are looking to see all types of animals including warthogs, Wildebeests,cheetahs, and leopards. The park has thousands of animals that are all worth watching, however, the big five are the main attraction at Kruger. The big five include cheetahs, lions, buffalo’s, rhino’s, and elephants.

These animals were termed the big five because back in the hunter days they were the most sought after animals. Hunter’s searched for these particular animals for meat, ivory, skin, and for stuffing. It is rumored that the animals in the big five category are labeled because they are the most dangerous. In reality, the hippopotamus is the most dangerous animal and has claimed more lives than any other mammal (fun fact).

On our safari we have had a chance to see three out of five of the animals (lion, rhino & elephant), and hopefully tonight we will be able to the see the other two on our last safari of the trip. The elephant and rhinos were seen from a distance, but we were able to get rather close to the lions. Two male lions were laying in the road protecting a woman lion who had been badly injured. There is nothing like seeing an animal up close and personal in it’s own habitat.

One of the major issues that is occurring in Kruger is poaching. The Big five are still sought after today despite the fact that poaching has been made illegal. Many hunters come into the park and hunt the animals without permission, this is mostly occurring on the Mozambique side of the park. On the South African side of Kruger National Park they have hired unidentified inspectors to drive around the park in order to prevent poaching. They have also made the consequences for poaching even higher in hopes to stop this illegal act. The Parks efforts have decreased the amount of poaching that occurs, but there are still hunters who pride themselves on catching one of the big five.

We were all very lucky to have this opportunity and seeing the animals in real life brought the idea of poaching into reality. Hopefully the Park can continue to make changes and adopt laws to prevent poaching and we will see the hunters disappear entirely from the parks

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