Posted 20 hours ago

The Ugly Five

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Joined in 2023

About this deal

Marabous are scavengers eating anything from termites, flamingoes, and small birds and mammals to human refuse and dead elephants. They also feed on carcasses with other scavengers such as vultures and hyenas. Still, it pains me to say it, but I thought it was ever so slightly dull. I just don’t think it is destined to be a classic.

I got the idea for this book when I was on a safari in South Africa. We had just spotted a herd of wildebeest.I also continued to write “grown-up” songs and perform them in folk clubs and on the radio, and have recently released two CDs of these songs. Their newest effort is a celebration of the animals in Africa, but not the ones children usually come to love. This is a book about the "others"; the funny-looking animals that many forget. Taking a warm-hearted approach, Donaldson draws our attention to "The Ugly Five": the wildebeest, the warthog, the hyena, the vulture and the Marabou stork.

Come and visit a prime game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal where you can witness these animals in the wild, including more than 200 bird species and a massive variety of flora.

However, much like the marabou storks, vultures have a crucial role to play in nature. They’re respected members of Africa’s ‘ clean-up crew’ for their ability to keep our wildlife reserves tidy. Their unfortunate looks have earned them a spot in this classification, despite being fascinating birds. Marabous can eat anything, including termites, flamingos and small birds, mammals, and even human refuse and dead elephants. They often share carcasses with other scavengers like vultures or hyenas. When asked to vote thumbs up or thumbs down, Dragonflies class (Year 2) polled a mixture of thumbs up, thumbs down and thumbs in the middle. Dominic thought it was boring, but liked the pictures of the funny animals. Brandon thought it was too long and wasn’t funny. Maia liked “seeing animals I’ve never seen before”.

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