It is the weight which define social status in the savannah

position to thanks all readers of this newspaper who take their time to read this column but special regards must go to those who write or call me and enquire about different animals of the savannah.

This article was prepared in response to several q uestions from readers from different parts of Tanzania especially Chunya, Bukoba and Arusha where by more than three people wanted to know the role of weight of an individual in savannah.

To get answers for his question let us go outside the jungle.

The boxing game is governed by what is known as a weight class, this is a measurement weight range f or boxers whereby the lower limit of a weight class is equal to the upper weight limit of the class below it and the top class, with no upper limit, is called heavyweight in professional boxing and super heavyweight in amateur boxing.

Meanwhile scientists say a full grown male elephant may weigh between 7 to 8 tons which is eq uivalent to a minimum of 78 healthier adult human males each weighing an average of 90 kilograms with this in mind.

Two elephants from Tarangire national park are capable of creating fear and havoc among villagers of Dukambovu.

This weight gives remove almost all enemies of this biggest land animal in the wild because even a strong pride of lions made by is unable to bring down an elephant because they will need to increase their number.

In Serengeti, Tarangire, Mkomazi, Mikumi, Katavi and other national park a pride of lion occupy a piece of land covering about 20 sq uare kilometers.

Scientists say lion’s social and economy system characterized by communal ownership of the pride land and its resources and that is clearly elaborated through cooperative hunting technique.

During a hunting episode a lion who weigh 250 kilograms with top speed of 40 km per hour and is able to chase and capture an elephant with a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour but the problem comes to size whereby with average weight of 180 kilograms for lioness who need to organiz e from 5 hunters to more than 40 individuals to bring down a lonely male elephant.

While on duty lionesses who are specialist hunters arrange themselves according to exp erience, courage and sharpness of decision making on were, when and how to attack, who is to take a leading role of bringing down the prey and making the killing bite while others are holding it down firmly to accomplish the deadly mission.

Ecologists say elephants live in female controlled herds made by 10 to 100 related individuals who need to walk between 90 and 180 kilometers a day in search of enough supply of food and water.

On their way no one is able to stop them or attack them, on the other side.

Scientists say female elephants are the one who control the group and their successes are measured by their follows by counting the number of offspring they have managed to rise.

A female leader guides and lives with her assistants who may be its sisters, aunts, cousins and nieces with their calves to good pasture from one season to another.

To justify its role, the matriarch leader will also be ready to wage war against intruders and other enemies of her family.

These may include humans who live in different areas around national parks and game reserves in Tanzania. While most of the time female elephant needs others to defend her herd, bulls or male elephant are solitary fighters which use their colossal body to crush anything that may stand on their way.

Selection of targets may be a problem to these mammals because elephant’s eyes are very small in relation to their heads. This is because their eye contains very few photoreceptors and they cannot see very well further than a few hundred feet away.

This and other weakness makes a male elephant at certain period of the year through all its weight to anything that stands on its way and this is clearly seen when a male elephant in the middle of savannah start to push a tree with all its might energy until the plant goes down without any reasonable cause.

During this display of power even the strongest lion is forced to run away for his life and that made man to be a single enemy to the elephant.

On their side, among the f amily of big cats lions have an upper hand against leopards and cheetahs.

The social life of lions bring together more than six individuals to work and live together in their pride land, unity, weight, powerful sound and courage give lions more strength against leopard.

With an average weight of 61 kilograms, leopards are credited with ability of killing medium size ungulates weighing between 20 to 80 kilograms and that remove an elephant and a lion from its menu.

Meanwhile hyenas are powerful beasts too, with much more stamina than any other carnivore in the savannah.

They can outperf orm lions, leopard and any other big cats in continuous long distance chasing of prey. If the lion is wounded, old, sick, outnumbered by more than three then the hyenas as an upper hand over the lion whereby each individual weighs between 40 to 60 kilograms, if a lion is f ound in this situation it will either run or get killed and consumed.

Unlike other species, spotted hyenas change their ways of life according to season, availabilities of resources and specifications of environments.

These ability and habits make spotted hyenas to depend on what they hunt rather than going from one bush to another in search of dead bodies.

Spotted hyenas are not super predators but this is only possible because of their social life which enables them to live in a large group consisting up to 130 individuals.

Weighing between 900 to 1,000 kgs the African buffalo is dangerous bovine who attack and kill its victims using very hard and heaviest sharp horns called Boss capable of tearing apart most of its targets.

Not only other animals in the wild who are falling victims of these deadly horns but strong matured bull will brutalize young and weak male buffaloes who are interested with female members in his troop.

So to may maxi mize the chance of breading with all females the heaviest bull will fight and chase smaller males thanks to the ranking system among buffaloes.

These heaviest bovine of the African savannah has one enemy in the wild and it’ s the lion who is the heaviest feline capable of organising a platoon of seven to ten lionesses each weighing approximately 120 kilograms with a help of lion to bring down a bull whose weight may reach 1,000 kilograms.

 Meanwhile with kilograms ranging between 900 and 1,400, the African black rhino has no enemy in the wild, according to a report by the International Union f or Conservation of Nature ( IUCN).

The number of African rhinos killed by poachers is still big, one report indicates that at least 1,38 rhinos were killed illegally across Africa in 2015 which is the highest number in almost a decade because since 2009, almost 6,000 African rhinos have been poached.

With brain that is capable of designing, manufacturing and using firearms, humans have become enemies of their own and other creatures on earth, will kill each other for our own interests but kill animals in the wilderness for pleasure, we need to change and stop this kind of habit. 

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Author: Reginald Stanslaus

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