“However often you journey into the wild, each experience brings new impressions, new and renewed astonishment at the marvellous beauty and intricate pattern of Nature’s realm. As you listen to the night under a bushveld sky or lie hidden in the scorched grass, the dynamic, vibrant world around you engulfs and enchants so that you long to return again and again, as I did to search, to listen and to absorb.” Daktari Sue
Chirping, rasping, grunting, roaring, cackling, giggling, howling, growling, singing calls are the language of the wild.
Animals use organised sound patterns to communicate with each other through scent, colour, movement and touch. The zebra, which lives in a herd, tosses its head or nuzzles its friend with a greeting “Hello – nice to see you”. The tap-tap-tap of the woodpecker hammering at the tree bark tells other woodpeckers where he lives and where he is searching for his meal of insects.
Insects talk to one another in many amazing way. Some rub their wings on their legs, others scrape one wing against the other. The tok-tokkie beetle bangs its belly on the ground to talk to its mate, the stick insect rattles its staccato warning at the most unexpected moment.
The giraffe, tallest animal in the world is not silent as many people think. It does not speak very much, but when it does, it snorts, bleats and grunts. Another quiet bush resident is the black rhino. Usually it sends out short, high-pitched squeaks but when angered it can roar like a lion.
As the sun sets, his majesty the lion sends his mighty roar across his kingdom. “I am the King of Beasts” he says “listen and keep your distance.”
Sound signals of the elephant are many and varied: there’s the throaty soft rumble of compassion that can be clearly defined and differentiated from a “come-hither call” rumble, or a “feeling/all’s well-with-the-world” rumble. If an elephant wants to go somewhere, they will let the herd know by emitting a low rumble and lifting their foot while facing the direction they want to travel in. The most expressive sound is doubtlessly the great trumpet call which is audible for 100s of miles, depending on weather conditions and vegetation.
Every animal has its own way of keeping in touch with those of its own kind. Without making contact, animals could not continue to exist.