African Hoofed Animals

Africa, more than any other continent, has an unbelievable variety of climatic zones and forms of vegetation. The spectrum ranges from deserts and semi-deserts, via grass- and tree savannahs to the evergreen tropical rainforest. The Enclosures for Hoofed Animals show you, in order to exemplify this spectrum, a number of hoofed animal species (also known as ungulates) that are specially adapted to these habitats. On making a tour round the outdoor enclosures, the visitor can thus easily recognize the differences between the various climate and vegetation zones by observing what species of plants and animals there are in each enclosure. Each animal has special features (build, colour of its coat) that make it fit into its own special habitat.
The driest habitats are represented at the upper end of the compound, neighbouring the Demonstration Farm. Grevy zebras - sharing their enclosure with dorcas gazelles - and Somali wild asses are exhibited there. These animals, which originate from the desert regions of North Africa, Ethiopia and Somalia, are excellently adapted to their habitat. Nevertheless, the Somali wild ass is almost extinct in the wild. The impressive reticulated giraffes from northern Kenya are to be found on a slight slope. A small flock of lesser kudus can also be seen on the giraffes' enclosure but only if it is not staying in its own and more hidden place right behind it.

The lower open-air enclosures adjacent to Café Belvedere show animals from the rainiest parts of Africa. The okapi, a primeval forest giraffe, for example, is only to be found in the rainforests of the Congo, and the bongos, a further antelope species, populate the dense bush and bamboo forests of Africa.
In the only house open to the public, the Giraffe House, there are also some birds and smaller animals of prey from Africa to be seen, such as the splendid Congo peacock and the fennec fox. The amusing little slender-tailed meerkats are at home around the corner of the giraffes' open-air enclosure.

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