Patrick Egwu

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  1. Sniktawk: I have seen both animals in their prime, and Tigers are not 'greatly' larger, in many instances the tiger's heavier weight would not give it a great advantage. I must also bring to your attention that though tigers tend to be heavier and slightly longer, lions are generally taller animals...... There have also been many documented lion victories in captivity.... Most recently an adult lion in a Korean Zoo killed an adult Siberian tiger in a confrontation (you can google search the incident). Also of interest: are heavier than many of the Southern tiger subspecies......
  2. This has been a subject of discussion for many years, with various scientists supporting either of these two great cats. Naturalists of African origin tended to side the lion, whilst Asians had a bias for tiger..... Since records started being kept, these two apex preditors had seized to exist side by side in the wild, thereby eliminating the chance for scientists to establish which of the two cats where dominant in areas where historically the range of the two species over-lapped..... What ever the case may be, we do know that amongst different species of predators, the lion and tiger are amongst the most evenly matched, so much more so that they occupy the same positions in the 'food-chains' of their various local environments.... Whatever formidable beast that a wild tiger has been able to single handedly defeat in Asia, a lion has been able to replicate the same on a beast of comparable size and strength in the wilds of Africa...... Even more interestingly, scientists have noted that when you 'skin' a dead tiger, the body is virtually unrecognizable from that of a 'skinned' lion, unless a DNA test is undertaken on the (skinned) carcass..... In captivity, lions and tigers have often been kept in the same enclosures, where neither species have ever taken consistent 'control'.... There are male lions that have been totally dominant of enclosures containing even the biggest Siberian tigers, and conversly, tigers have also dominated where lions are involved..... Fights have also broken out, and often the lion has been the victor, at other times, tigers have won..... Notably, approximately two weeks ago in a Korean zoo, an adult male lion killed an adult female Siberian tiger that was only lighter than him by 20 kg...... A lot of analysts place emphasis on weight, though in reality the weight difference is negligable. The tiger is only slightly larger consistently...... For instance, an average male 'Bengal tiger' weighs in at approximately 500lbs with exceptionally big males reaching 600lbs or so (especially in Northern India, and Nepal). An average male lion weighs in at around 450lbs, with big males reaching about 550lbs..... A wild Kenyan lion weighing over 600lbs was once shot, and the lions of North Africa (now extinct in the wild) averaged in at 500lbs, sometimes crossing the 600lbs mark. Recent studies have also shown that very large 'Bengal tigers' often out-weigh average seized 'Siberian tigers', which typically weigh in at around 600lbs or so. Interestingly, the lion in turn is larger than many of the southern tiger races of Asia, some of which have become extinct within the past 100 years or so (Surmatran, Javan, Bali, etc). Indeed, many individual lions are bigger than many individual tigers of the same sex and age.... However, of greatest interest is the outcome of wild populations living side by side.... We know that lions had lived side by side with tigers through-out much of Asia up to 150-200 years ago.....but records where not kept of the interaction between the two species.... In India (which is home to the last remaining population of wild Asian lions), plans are afoot to create a new lion population in Kunor Palpur, a protected wild area in Northern India were lions were formerlly present, and which is also home to a population of wild tigers.... In summary, I would have to favor the lion, not because it is a more formidable cat individually, but primarilly because of behavioral traits of the two species. Wild tigers are solitary cats, coming together rarely. Quite unlike lions, which have a tendency to congregate in groups. So, whilst it is possible that a single tiger may be able to harrass or even kill a single male lion, as tiger or lion often do to leopards, it is most certainly impossible that any tiger would survive an onslaught from a coalition of pride or nomadic males or even a group of females defending their young. Lions are well known for 'ganging up' against all kinds of adversaries, even 'prey', and animals that a single lion can easily defeat. Most certainly, it is over-whelmingly obvious that any existence of the two species side-by-side will create the kind of of rivalry that has yet to be documented in the animal kingdom. One cannot think of two other separate species that are more evenly matched pound for pound, as well as in terms of courage, and ferousity than the lion and tiger. Additionally, it is almost un-imaginable thinking of either lion or tiger as the second top predator in any environment... Tiger or lion populations are thought to be fearless of predators in any environment in which they exist, and are always top of the 'equation'. Finally, it is most noteworthy that ancient literature and cultures, from areas where the two species existed side-by-side, have a tendency to depict the lion in a manner that is symbolic, more so than the tiger..... Even in the bible, the lion is consistently referenced as an animal of strength and courage, as against that of the tiger, in areas such as Babylon (Iraq), and Persia (Iran), which was also home to the now extinct 'Caspian Tiger'.... Wether that symbolizes dominance by the lion, we do not know, but it most certainly goes in favor of the lion in regards to which of these two apex predators is the more dominant....
  3. Sniktawk: There are adequate logistics and visitor lodges in some of the places referenced.... Aside South Africa, Immigration formalities in most of West Africa should be comparable to what obtains in other regions of Africa..... The only 'area' that is somewhat of an issue in West Africa is the lack of adequate tour operators in the region.... Travel within the region will most likely have to be arranged and organized by the intending traveller.......
  4. Dik dik: There are adequate logistics and visitor lodges in some of the places referenced.... Aside South Africa, Immigration formalities in most of West Africa should be comparable to what obtains in other regions of Africa..... The only 'area' that is somewhat of an issue in West Africa is the lack of adequate tour operators in the region.... Travel within the region will most likely have to be arranged and organized by the intending traveller.......
  5. Twaffle: Sorry for the late response...... My main focus is Nigeria.... I do beleive that there are wildlife websites for other West African wildlife areas, but I can suggest certain Nigeria based organizations that can provide further information. I do not remember the exact URLs off-head, but the following organizations do have websites (Which I am sure you will find if you 'google search' the relevant organization): Nigerian Conservation Foundation (Lagos based organization specializing in the conservation of biodiversity through-out Nigeria). Okomu National Park (One of Nigeria's seven national parks, this small rainforest park has a website, tourist facilities, and good wildlife, including a monkey endemic to Nigeria. Noteworthy fauna include, elephant, forest buffalo, and leopard). Gashaka Gumti National Park (GGNP as it is popularly called has a website hosted by one of London's major universities, and which provides all details on this richly endowed wildife area. If well managed, Gashaka can rival Kruger, and amongst its most noteworthy species are: giant eland, western giraffe, wild-dog, giant forest hog, black and white colobus, lion, elephant, western buffalo, leopard, and an impressive population of over 2000 Nigerian Chimpanzees). CERCOPAN (CERCOPAN is an organisation based in Calabar-Nigeria, and which specializes in primate conservation. The organisation is affiliated to Nigeria's Cross River National Park which is home to the country's largest area of primary rainforest. Cross River is home to one of the world's few populations of cross river gorillas, as well as numerous other primate species, chimps, forest buffoles, leopards, etc). Yankari Initiative (Is a relatively new organisation, and has a website concerning its activities in Nigeria's best known wildlife area - the Yankari Game Reserve. Yankari is home to stable elephant populations, numbering in their hundreds, as well as lion, waterbuck, buffalo, etc) Pendjari National Park (Is Benin's best known wildlife area, and has a website of its own. The park has some of the best ungulate populations in the entire Africa, especially roan antelopes).
  6. Western Africa, the big region of Africa sandwiched between the Sahara Desert to the North, and the Atlantic to the South, and which extends from Senegal to Cameroon, or arguably Nigeria on a Westerly to Easterly basis, is a region which is more often recognized for its diversity in human culture, or at best, rainforest wildlife..... In fact, many of West Africa's most important wildlife areas are yet to be properly researched and documented. For some reason, the researchers prefer to go to the Eastern or Southern parts of the continent, and usually only come to West in search of tropical forest species, especially primates.... Even more amazing, is that majority of the indigenous people of the region who where born within the last eighty or so years do not know or have even the vaguest idea of what obtains locally in terms of wildlife, nor do they understand the importance of such. Governments have even failed where they should be responsible. Often relegating nature conservation to the back-ground, or showing a lack of basic understanding of the concept that in order for any society to remain truly sustainable, development must be in tandem with Nature. Indeed, a prime example of such lack of understanding happened within the past two years, when Nigeria's Federal Government handed over a federal run reserve to a State (regional government), thereby going against the grain of International conservation practices. Equally amazing, is how governments often talk about tourism development, and base such development on the construction of golf-courses, and big luxury hotels, amongst others, whilst ignoring the very thing that is unique about West Africa - the wildlife.... It seems in the West, we still have a lot to learn from East and Southern Africa, especially South Africa... Sometimes one finds it thoroughly amusing when there are comments proclaiming that there are no more populations of any of Africa's 'big five' in West Africa.... Such comments are as far from the truth as there can ever be, because in West Africa we have lost very little, and even more interestingly, the wildlife of the West African bush exhibits many significant differences from what obtains in the better known areas of East or Southern Africa. In fact, of the big five, the only animal we have tragically lost is the Western Black Rhino, which died out in the wilds of Northern Cameroon in recent years....... In West Africa, we still have numerous viable populations of bush elephants, West African savanna buffalo which number in the thousands in Northern Benin, South Western Niger, and South-Eastern Burkina Faso, as well as the conservation complexes straddling the Northern borders of Nigeria and Cameroon. These West African buffalos are the West's equivalent of East and Southern Africa's Cape buffalos, but tend to vary in color from orange brown to black individuals within the same heard, and usually carrying more slender horns.... West Africa is also home to several lion communities, with the conserved area straddling Northern Nigeria and Cameroon thought to contain up to three hundred individuals. A notable difference in the lions of West Africa is that nearly if not all adult males, though large bodied, are scantily manned, or almost maneless..... At times, it is not easy to distinguish between male and female lions from afar. Indeed, very contrary to the popular belief that male lions as standard exhibit prominent manes, thereby indicating clear difference between the sexes. We also have leopards through out the region, spotted hyena, and even a few pockets of cheetah, and wild dog...... Another noteworthy difference in the West African bush is the absence of zebra, wildebeest, or impala. Animals which have in our psyche become symbolic of Africa.... The roles that these animals play as part of the food chain for predators, or rather wildlife network, is replaced in West Africa by the buffon/Senegal kob (much similar to the lechwe of Southern Africa), Western Roan Antelope (the region around Northern Benin is home to the largest concentration of wild roan antelope in the world), Western Hartebeest, Korrigum (the West African version of the topi/tsessebe), Giant Eland (West African version of the Eland, larger than that found in other regions of the continent), defassa waterbuck (In West Africa waterbucks have a more shaggy coat, and are reddish-brownish in color), red-fronted gazell (West African replacement for thompson's gazell or springbok), Western bush-buck (different coat markings from the rest of the continent), tantalus monkey (West African version of the vervet/green monkey), red patas monkey (In West Africa patas monkeys are reddish brown)...... In west Africa, black backed jackals are replaced by side-stripped jackals, and the brown hyena's of Southern Africa are replaced by stripped hyenas. The West Afrian/Nigerian giraffe is also endemic to the region, so too is the guinea baboon, though olive baboon is dominant in terms of distribution. For obvious reasons, it is not practical to highlight all the different characteristics that makes wildlife in the West African bush different from the well documented wildlife areas of Eastern or Southern Africa, but one hopes that this article is an insight to the 'tip of the iceburg' waiting to be fully explored in a sustainable manner. Great 'big game' wildlife areas in West Africa include: Niokolo Koba National Park in Senegal (Famous for its savanna dwelling chimpanzees, and some of West Africa's, and indeed Africa's last wild-dog populations. Other notable species include around 100 lions, elephants, buffalo, roan, etc.... Classic West African wildlife). Mole Game Reserve in Ghana (All the regular species are here.... Lions are thought to be 'thin' on the ground, and possibly leopards too, but there are around 800 elephants here, so its worth a visit). Arli National Park in Burkina Faso (Plenty wildlife, typical of Northern West Africa). W National park straddling the borders of Niger, Benin, and Burkina Faso, and home to huge populations of ungulates, some of the healthiest populations in Africa, and along with with neighboring conservation areas is home to the largest concentration of roan antelopes in the world. Here, roan antelope herds numbering in the hundreds are common. Parc W as it is often referred to in the Francophone countries where it is situated, is also home to some of West Africa's last wild Cheetahs. Pendjari National Park in Benin is contingous to W national park, and therefore harbors the same wildlife..... The park is famous for its lions. Yankari Game Reserve in Nigeria (A lot of wildlife. Unusually waterbuck is the most common antelope in this reserve, and equally unusual is the fact that these antelopes are the most favored species by the local lions, though researchers traditionally believe that lions else-where have a disliking for this particular species, due to its oily flesh). Gashaka-Gumti National Park (This Nigerian national park is a special case, and is home to a staggering 103 species of mammals alone. The park is home to some of West Africa's last wild-dog, giraffe, giant eland, and klipspringer populations. It is the only site in West Africa if you exclude Cameroon, to harbor the giant forest hog. It is one of few sites in the world for the Nigerian Chimpanzee, numbering a few thousand individuals. The baboons here have an unusual habit of dwelling in the parks rainforest ecosystem, add that to the lions, leopards, thousands of ungulates, red-river hog (West/Central African version of the bush-pig, an animal that is rufous orange in color), and species typical of West Africa's tropical rainforests, as well numerous mountainous wildlife, then it is understandable why the park has been recognized globally as an environmental/wildlife 'hotspot'. Gashaka Gumti's staggering biodiversity statistics is as a result of its multiple ecosystem, and rivals any of its kind anywhere in the world). Waza National Park in Cameroun is amongst the best in West/Central Africa, and is home to some of West Africa's last viable populations of Ostrich, Korrigum, giraffe, and red-fronted gazell.... Lots of lions, elephants and all the expectant stuff). We dont know when the governments and people of West Africa will begin to realize the importance of wildlife not only to future generations, but also as a contributor to national economy. Thankfully, some individuals, governments, and corporations are waking up the challenge. Though we still have a long way to go, before we can catch up with Southern Eastern Africa

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