At a quiz night at the pub, most people will probably know the answer to “What are the Big 5 animals of Africa?” However, the question “What are the Ugly 5 animals of Africa?” might not be so easy to get right!
The Ugly 5 club contains the underdogs, the ones only a mother could love, the ones that stood last in the line when good looks were handed out. However, they all have very important roles to play in the greater ecosystems they find themselves in.
The Common Warthog even has a name that sounds ugly, and a predilection for mud baths certainly doesn’t help this coarse-haired African pig. A long visit to the local spa is certainly called for!
The different species of vultures make the list under one ugly, squabbling umbrella. For their hairless faces and dirty, scavenging habits they easily get entrance to the Ugly 5 club. However, it is precisely their love for cleaning carcasses that play a vital role in the balance of the ecosystem.
Next up, the Common Wildebeest looks as if it’s made from spare parts of other animals that don’t really fit proportionally, and furthermore, it also appears to be intellectually challenged… On top of that, almost every wildlife documentary portrays them as nothing more than lunch for predators!
With an unfortunate reputation as a backstabbing opportunist, compounded by a body type that makes it look as if it’s permanently skulking, the Spotted Hyaena certainly deserves a spot on the list. To be fair, there are few cuter animals than a baby hyaena!
Last, but certainly not least, is the Marabou Stork. Also known as the “undertaker” of the animal world, he should probably be mentioned first on this list! They too play a critical role in the wild, even if they just seem to be standing around waiting for something to die.
Although the members of this club might be ugly, they all have a certain, um, charm… For a chance to see them and many other far more beautiful creatures, join us on a classic African safari in the Kruger National Park.
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