Big 5s

Dr Zoavina Randriana

Director, Madagascar Dog Initiative

“What could be my favourite animal to photograph, other than the majestic, elusive and almost unknown fossa? I find everything about this animal fascinating, starting with its scientific name, Cryptoprocta ferox, which derives from the Ancient Greek words crypto, meaning ‘hidden’, procta, meaning ‘anus’ and the Latin adjective ‘wild’.

The fossa is the enemy of the charismatic lemurs and the apex predator in Madagascar, although its size is not even bigger than a medium dog. But how agile it is, able to climb from tree to tree to hunt prey that is sometimes twice as large as itself, or to fight other males on the same trees to get the favour of the demanding female.

Elusive as it is, it is a shame that the only photographs I have of a fossa so far is when it looks high from sedation for our research. It would be brilliant to bump into one someday in a Malagasy dry forest and snap a photo of its rounded ears, its bright eyes and its long tail and be able to enjoy from very close its characteristic smell that is not the most pleasant.”

www.maddoginitiative.com

Photo by MAD initiative

My Big 5

    Fossa
    Lion
    Gorilla
    Jaguar
    Panda

Dr Zoavina Randriana

Director, Madagascar Dog Initiative

“What could be my favourite animal to photograph, other than the majestic, elusive and almost unknown fossa? I find everything about this animal fascinating, starting with its scientific name, Cryptoprocta ferox, which derives from the Ancient Greek words crypto, meaning ‘hidden’, procta, meaning ‘anus’ and the Latin adjective ‘wild’.

The fossa is the enemy of the charismatic lemurs and the apex predator in Madagascar, although its size is not even bigger than a medium dog. But how agile it is, able to climb from tree to tree to hunt prey that is sometimes twice as large as itself, or to fight other males on the same trees to get the favour of the demanding female.

Elusive as it is, it is a shame that the only photographs I have of a fossa so far is when it looks high from sedation for our research. It would be brilliant to bump into one someday in a Malagasy dry forest and snap a photo of its rounded ears, its bright eyes and its long tail and be able to enjoy from very close its characteristic smell that is not the most pleasant.”

Photo by MAD initiative

My Big 5

    Fossa
    Lion
    Gorilla
    Jaguar
    Panda

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