Safari park

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On the northern edge of  Veli Brijun, in an enclosed area stretching over 9 hectares, lies the safari park that was formed in 1978. The park is the habitat of  many exotic plant eaters: Indian elephant Lanka, llama - South American camel which according to the Indian legend were domesticated in the very beginnings of  human existence, zebras,  Indian holy cows and ostriches.

Llama (Lama) is a South American member of the camel family, differing from the common camel because of its smaller body and relatively large, pressed together head with a pointed snout, large eyes and slender legs, with two toes that are set apart. Llamas have no hump and are covered with long, thick wooly fur. They live in the high plains of the Cordilleras up to 4500 m above sea level. From the ancient past Indians have used the hair of the llama to make blankets and garments.

Steppe and mountain zebras (Equus quagga and Equus zebra) were received as a gift from Guinea in 1960 and 1961 from Seku Ture. An ancient Roman writer told stories about the Roman emperor Caracalla who in AD 211 besides tigers, elephants and rhinoceroses also sent  a "striped horse" (hipotigris) into the arena and killed him with his own hands. This writer was surely referring to one type of African striped wild horses, or the zebra.
Mountain zebras show more resemblance to a donkey than a horse, and live in the mountainous regions of southern and eastern Africa. They usually live in large herds together with antelopes, giraffes and ostriches. The lion as the zebra's chief foe fears its small, yet extremely hard hoof. Until today all attempts to tame zebras and train them to work as domestic animals have failed. Zoologists still have different theories of whether their color pattern protects them to blend in with the surroundings or not.

Zebu or Indian holy cattle (Bos indicus), a gift from India presented by Nehru in 1959. The small holy cattle are in fact a dwarfish species of Indian holy cows. They share all the features of cattle, but are smaller in size and not as heavy. Full-grown bulls are dark brown with strong, yet short horns. They also have a characteristic hump for storing extra food. Bulls weigh up to 300 kg, whereas cows weigh up to 150 kg and bear one calf at a time.

Elephants - Elephantidae - Brijuni's Indian elephant (Elephans maximus) is gift from India received in 1974. Elephants are up to 3 m tall and weigh up to 4-5 tons. They live in the jungles of India, Sri Lanka, Borneo and Sumatra. Male elephants can weigh up to 6 tons which makes them the largest living mammals. Despite its huge size the elephant has a light and barely audible gait since each foot has a thick pad of elastic tissue that acts as a cushion. An elephant touches, smells and breathes with its trunk, even uses it to make sounds. It eats at least 80 kg of food a day and its trunk can suck in 6-10 liters of water so it drinks up to 200 liters of water at once.


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