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Welcome Babies of the Bushveld



Have you ever wondered why a baby impala is called a lamb but a kudu has a calf? Both are species of antelope, after all. What is the correct name for a baby elephant or giraffe? With summer bringing life-giving rain and rejuvenation across safari Africa, baby season has arrived; and with it comes the question of which baby is called what. Coutesy of Sabi Sabi Private Reserve we share some of the naming conventions for newborn African animals.  




Female adults of the smaller antelope species, such as impala and bushbuck, are called ewes, and the males, rams. The offspring of these small antelope are lambs. For larger antelope, such as kudu, the adults are cows and bulls, with the babies being called calves.





Elephants, giraffes, hippos and rhinos also give birth to calves. Zebras, like their equine cousins, have foals. Unsurprisingly, monkeys and baboons which have such human looking babies, deliver infants. And, of course, baby warthogs couldn't possibly be known as anything but piglets (females and males are sows and boars).






The magnificent cats - lions, leopards and cheetahs - produce cubs. The civet, though not a cat, gives birth to kittens, as does the serval which is a genuine wild cat. Dog-like jackals and African wild dogs produce pups; but what about the conundrum of a hyena? Sharing characteristics of both dogs and cats, the hyena baby is called a cub. 




Most people know that new born birds are hatchlings and soon become chicks. However, did you know that baby crocodiles are also called hatchlings? In fact, any young that hatch from eggs are referred to as hatchlings, including baby snakes, lizards and monitors. Spiders' young are called spiderlings - a group of which is a cluster - and frogs begin life as tadpoles.



Whatever they are called, some of the most delightful sightings in the bushveld are those of baby animals - watching a baby rhino cautiously approaching a safari vehicle, only to realize that the behemoth isn't another of its kind, and then shuffling back to its mother; the privilege of witnessing a baby antelope being born, and then quickly find its balance on wobbly legs; or encountering a really young elephant calf struggling to stand tall while attempting to nurse - these special sights are unforgettable.


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