Most people have heard of Africa’s famous Big 5 safari animals – the lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, elephant and rhino. Then there are the Little 5, the Ugly 5, or the Impossible 5. But what are Africa’s Stupid 4?
Let’s have a look who is on the list?
The blue wildebeest is unfortunate enough to be the only animal to be part of the Stupid 5 and the Ugly 5. The sound of the Wildebeest is very strange when they call, and one would thing that they have lost some of their marbles. They can stare at you making one wonder if there is anyone at home at all. They will run off at the slightest provocation and then keep on running, even when there is no seeming reason to keep on running. When they are spooked, they run, then after a while, a very long while, one will stop and the rest will follow with a blank expression as to what has just happened.
Anyone who has been on a game drive has with no uncertainty seen Guinea fowl on the road. And as the vehicle approaches, they just run ahead on the road. right in front of the vehicle’s wheels. If they had any intelligence at all they would run off into the bush and get away from the road but no, they stay on the road, in front of a vehicle that could perhaps run them over. Having wings and the ability to fly does not seem to cross their mind. And when one of them remembers this amazing act, they fly for about 10m and then land on the road, again, in front of the vehicle and continue running. Really, who runs in front of a vehicle, when they can fly into safety? Watching them in full sprint, ducking and diving like mad and not reaching safety is really stupid. Vehicles can slow down for them but it will not help at all, they will merely carry on running along the road with no sense at all.
Normally known as “sausage flies” these creatures are actually male driver ants. Like most insects, they have very small brains, which makes them prime candidates for the Stupid 5. Sausage flies come out at night and appear to have no directional system in the slightest, knocking into everyone and everything in the area. They fly around with no specific direction. They will then fall onto the floor, every so often on their backs and simply buzz away again like crazy not being able to right themselves. They are short lived, short changed in life and frequently dense. They are really very stupid.
Nightjars are a family of bird species found all over the world, and Africa is no exception. But they are not the brightest of bird species. They love to be on the road at night, as they blend in well with the environment. Regrettably, nightjars are extremely persistent and they just don’t move away. When driving at night, one need to look out for them to avoid running over a poor innocent nightjar. Some species of nightjars are threatened with extinction. Road-kills of this species by cars are thought to be a major cause of mortality for many members of the family because of their habit of resting and roosting on roads.