Above: Jaguar, in La Papalo, Mexico by Alejandro Prieto
Published: The East African Nation media 16-22 May 2020
By Rupi Mangat
The New Big 5 is an international initiative to create a New Big 5 (#NewBig5) of wildlife: the Big 5 of photography, not hunting. Shooting with a camera, not a gun. Check out this website and then vote for your five. The results will be announced later in the year. It’s open to all…young and old from any part of the world.
Above: The gate at Ruma National Park of the roan antelope. Copyright Rupi Mangat
Published: The East African Nation 14 April 2008
Only 40 surviving today – 2020.
If you think that only the African Rhino and elephant are endangered or a target of poachers, you are wrong. There are many other animals threatened with extinction who, unfortunately, are little known and rarely heard of.
Kenya’s roan antelope falls in this category. Today, this subspecies of the roan, Hippotragus equines langheldi, is only found in one tiny area in the world — Ruma National Park in western Kenya. At one time its territory stretched all the way from the Mara grasslands to Ruma. It was also found in other areas such as the Ithanga hills in Thika.
In Ancient Egypt’s royal tomb of the famous pharaoh, Tutankhamun are images of giraffes nibbling leaves while he sits in state some 3000 years ago. Giraffes and elephants including the rare okapi lived in the midst of the Egyptians until the forests were plundered to build boats and pyramids for the pharaohs, which heralded in the Saharan Sands.
Giraffes have globe trotted the earth since the Miocene era 23 million years ago when their range included Europe and Asia.
“Giraffes appear more frequently than most other animals on rock art,” states David Coulson of the Trust for Africa Rock Art (TARA) that is a digital repository of Africa’s most important prehistoric rock art. “It is the earliest artistic expressions of humankind, a window on how our ancestors related and interacted with nature and the natural world,” continues Coulson.