Readers’ wildlife photos

We continue today with Susan Hoffman’s series of photos from South Africa (first installment here). Susan’s notes and IDs are indented.

I saw your appeal for more pics, so I’m finally pulling out some photos that I promised to you quite a while ago, from a trip we made in 2017 to the area near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. We spent most of our time in the Addo Elephant and Mountain Zebra National Parks, which are small but delightful drive-through parks, like mini-Krugers. This first batch is from Addo, and I’ve given you several of some species so that you can choose your favorites. T

Pictures from Mountain Zebra National Park. If you ever have a chance, go to this park! Not at all crowded, wide open vistas, interesting landscape and wonderful animals.

Mountain zebras (Equus zebra)—in my opinion the most handsome species of zebra:

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) guarding a dead hartebeest. Not great pictures due to intervening bushes, but a very interesting interaction–the two warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus) kept trying to get at the kill, and the two cheetahs had to interrupt their lounging to run them off:

Pictures from Mountain Zebra National Park. Blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus)

Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis)

 Greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), also very numerous:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Beautiful set!

    Dumb question:

    Why does Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) have the species name marsupialis – because I don’t think it’s a marsupial…

    • Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      If that’s a dumb question, count me as dumb too. Seems strange.

    • C.
      Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      I had a look-up on the Wikipedia which states that it refers to a “pocket-like skin flap which extends along the midline of the back from the tail” which is what distinguishes it from the true gazelles. Antidorcus means “not a gazelle” and marsupialis is in reference to its “pocket”, or so sayeth the wikigods.

      • Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Thanks for looking it up. Springbok always seemed to me to be a wonderful animal name. They must have named a lot of other animals the day they came up with Antidorcas marsupialis. There should be a rule against naming a species “not “. Such disrespect!

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 7, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          It’s also a good name for a beer. 🙂

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink


        “The word marsupial comes from marsupium, the technical term for the abdominal pouch. It, in turn, is borrowed from Latin and ultimately from the ancient Greek μάρσιππος mársippos, meaning “pouch”.”

        So I guess it’s merely describing the structure on the body, not necessarily classifying the animal… talk about drowning in two inches of water…

        For comparison:

        eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus)

        Marsupial is an infraclass :


        And they don’t all live in Australia. There’s just a lot of them there.

  2. Debra Coplan
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Very exciting photos….and gorgeous zebras!

  3. rickflick
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I’ll agree the mountain zebra (is it zee-bra, or zeb-ra?) is more attractive. I think because it has less white. I don’t see any flies landing. Do you suppose the lack of white is an adaptation to mountain flies having different visual wiring?

  4. Mark R.
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful photos. Don’t know if I’ve seen a Mountain Zebra, but I agree they are quite striking.
    Love the Greater Kudu horns.

  5. Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic! I really enjoyed these.

  6. Posted July 7, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Great shots! Thanks, Susan!

  7. Posted July 7, 2020 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Do Zebras dream of electric kudus?
    I ask you and Gibson.
    D.A., J.D., NYC


    • Mark R.
      Posted July 7, 2020 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

      Er…that would be P.K. Dick. But I like your question.

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