FEATURE: Do you know what north Africa’s national animals are?

The Dromedary or Arabian camel is the national animal of Tunisia. Picture: Sedgwick County Zoo/Twitter
The Dromedary or Arabian camel is the national animal of Tunisia. Picture: Sedgwick County Zoo/Twitter

CAPE TOWN, July 17 (ANA) – North Africa is home to some of the world’s most exotic animals, so we decided to test your knowledge on six of the region’s national animals.

They’re all different and unique in their own way, so next time you see one of these creatures, remember, they are national treasures.

We start off with Tunisia’s national animal, the Dromedary, also called the Somali camel or the Arabian camel (Camelus dromedarius). 

According to environmental magazine National Geographic, Dromedaries have only one hump, which they employ to great effect.

The hump can store  up to 80 pounds (36 kilograms) of fat, which a camel can break down into water and energy when sustenance is not available.

The Fennec fox is the national animal of Algeria. This majestic, tiny little creature barely weighs between 0.68 and 1.59 kg and is covered in thick, cream, fluffy fur.

With its disproportionately large ears, slanted eyes and pointy nose, also known as Vulpes zerda, the attractive little Fennec fox bears the nickname of the Algeria’s national football team – Les Fennecs, Algeria.com reports.

The Fennec fox is also referred to as the ‘desert fox’, a reference to its preferred habitat. The Fennec fox is likely to be spotted in the arid regions of Algeria, as well as in other North African countries, Algeria.com says.

Known as the king of the animal kingdom, the Barbary lion is Morocco’s national animal. The Barbary lion lived in the Atlas Mountains of Northern Africa, from Morocco to Egypt, according to the website Einfon.

Barbary lions preferred mountainous and forested terrain and they were solitary creatures. According to Einfon, Barbary lions are bigger than other lion. They are also called Atlas lions or Nubian lions. 

It’s believed that the last Barbary lion of Morocco was killed in 1922.

The Steppe eagle is the national animal of Egypt. According to Einfon, this majestic bird  belongs to the family of Accipitridae, which is a family of small to large birds with strongly hooked bills.

The Steppe eagle lives in vast semi-arid areas of grassland known as steppe. Other than the steppe regions, these birds can also survive in desert regions, writes Einfon.

Moving to the oil-rich country of Libya, the national anthem in this north African country is the Arabian eagle.

According to Einfon, It was selected as the national animal of Libya because it is a symbol of power, freedom and transcendence.

The Arabian eagle is larger than most birds and has the ability to easily tear into the flesh of its prey with its sharp and hooked beak.

To round up our list of north Africa’s most respected animals, the Sudan cheetah is the national animal of Sudan.

This majestic creature is one of four subspecies of cheetah and slightly smaller and more golden than its southern African counterpart, according to Safari.com.

According to experts, the latest data indicates there are about 1 600 Sudan cheetahs left in East Africa.

African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay