Are They For Real?
The following list of seven zoo animals you may never knew existed are definitely for real, though most do not command the kind of attention that monkeys, lions, and tigers do. Sometimes the reason is they have an unusual name. Another reason is that the animals do not seem like animals at all. This list does not include creatures that are not animals, such as birds, insects, reptiles, or mammals.
The Suspicious Seven
- Your cat may not want to hear this, but the largest rodent in the world weighs about 100 pounds. Named the capybara, it is about two feet tall at the shoulder. Their origin is South America, and they live part of their lives in the water and part on land. So you may need to look carefully to see them.
- Francois Langur sounds like the name of a French poet, but it is actually the name of a member of the monkey family. Using “family” to describe this animal is appropriate, as they are very socially oriented animals that generally live in social groups as large as 12. Also an indicator of their family-orientation is the fact their young have bright orange and red coloring on their heads so the mother can keep track of them.
- If you are someone who feels self-conscious because your ears are too big, you will want to stop by and see the Fennec Fox. Native to the deserts of North Africa, one look at them and you will feel a lot better about your own ears. Of course, their ears also help them to hear potential prey and any surrounding danger.
- You may have heard of a camel, but what about a gerenuk? Like camels, gerenuks are able to survive long periods of time without water, and are found on the edge of the desert regions of East Africa. Though they look like an antelope, and nothing like a humped camel, be sure to look for their name on the zoo information.
- An animal that is a browser is not one that surfs the Internet. But the Mountain Bongo is an animal that searches for food by what is known as browsing – finding food wherever it may be. This is a necessary characteristic for them, as their weight of 900 pounds requires more than a table full of food every day.
- Though the Sichuan Takin sounds like bad English spoken by a person from China, it is actually the name of an animal – from China. Their natural habitat is shared with one animal that is the favorite of many people – the Giant Panda. Like the panda, their numbers are becoming more and more threatened, so are protected by Chinese law.
- If you are looking for a playful rodent, look no further than the Degu. Naturally social animals, this species spend a good part of the day playing with one another and grooming each other. This social network is also valuable for their survival, as one degu will sound a vocal alarm warning others in the group about any approaching danger.
Depending on where you live or go on vacation, you may find some or all of these animals at the zoo you visit. The good news is that you should be able to get a xlear, unobstructed view of them since most people will not even know they are in the zoo! And they will appreciate the attention you give them – maybe.