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Animals of Cameroon

Cameroon is a kind of Noah’s ark of Central Africa, where one can find about half of species, living on the continent. To describe all of them one would need a huge book, not a web site article, so we describe only the species allowed for hunting.

 


Central African giant eland.

Scientific name – Taurotragus derbianus gigas. This is one of the most prestigious trophies among African antelopes.

Shoulder height – up to 180 sm., weight – more than 900 kg. This is a magnificent animal with long and massive spiral horns. It has a hump; its dewlap is rather big. Younger species are reddish-brown, becoming more grayish as they get older. They have 12-13 vertical stripes on their sides. Males have a small crest on the neck and a forelock. Females have no forelock, their horns are more elegant, they are less heavily built than male species.

Eland is a gregarious species and a herd usually consists up to 20 animals. Prefers bush branches. It is able to walk long distances during the day, especially when feels being chased (it can be more than 30-40 km. per day). The animal is very cautious and timid.

Common way of hinting the animal in Cameroon is tracking its traces and chasing it, sometimes for several days. Such hunt demands good physical condition.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1991 – 124 7\8 points, 73-rd place worldwide, 21-st place in Cameroon

1995 – 122 6\8 points, 90-th place worldwide, 38-th place in Cameroon

1989 – 122 1\8 points, 94-th place worldwide, 43-rd place in Cameroon

 

 

Savanna Elephant

Scientific name – Loxodonta africana. Everybody knows what the elephant looks like. The Central African species have a peculiarity, despite huge size (Cameroon elephants are one of the biggest in Africa, weight up to 6000 kg, height up to 4 meters) the male tusks are not so big- due to specific food and soil. Nevertheless, as a hunter’s competitor it is as dangerous as Botswana, Tanzanian or any other African elephant.

In Cameroon elephants can be met mostly in family herds of 10-40 animals, lead by old female. Old males either live alone or somewhere near the herd, but rarely mix with it.

Elephant hunting in Cameroon is always held by tracking, often for several days, with multiple approaches to different herds and lonely animals to choose a decent trophy.

 

 

 

African lion

Scientific name – Pantera leo leo. Lion is also a popular animal so everybody can imagine one, but for those who used to see lions on TV in programs made in Kenya wildlife resorts, it would be quite a surprise to meet Cameroon lion. First of all, lions in Cameroon woods live not in prides but in small family group of 3-4 animals, or by pairs, or even alone (both males and females) Second – as all the lions living in woods, not savanna, they usually have small crest. At the same time the proportions of head and body are normal and may exceed those of savanna lion.

There are two ways to hunt lion in Cameroon, most common – drag hunting. Tracing is used rarely. The first way is much less dangerous for the hunter and preferable to get good trophy.

 

 

 

 

Savanna buffalo

Scientific name – Sincerus caffer planiceros. This is a big animal, weighting about 500 kg. with shoulder height up to 140 sm. The color can be red, reddish-black or black. The form of the horns also varies (due to the fact that African buffalos living ranges are widely mixed and hybridization between different buffalos – wood, Nile and savanna ones are quite possible).

The animal is gregarious, lives in herds of 50-70 species. Loves water. Feeds mostly on grass. You can also meet “doughboys” – single males, (sometimes 2-3 animals) – that are most attractive from the point of view of trophy hunting, though you can also find a good trophy in herd.

The way of hunting buffalo in Cameroon is by tracking (finding the freshest traces and chasing the animal) but it is also possible to notice the herd while driving – in this case tracing and chasing can take lesser time. Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1995 – 77 points, 10-th place worldwide, 4-th place in Cameroon

1996 72 5\8 points, 27-th place worldwide, 15-th place in Cameroon

1995 – 771 6\8 points, 31-st place worldwide, 18-th place in Cameroon

 

 

Hippo

Scientific name – Hippopotamus amphibious. This animal is widely known, its weight can reach 2500 kg. and shoulder height – 1,5 meters. But Cameroon population of hippos has its peculiarities – the animals for big groups (more than 2-3 species) only in wide rivers (e.g. Benue) and lakes. The animals living within the borders of hunting zones (where rivers often are not wider than 4-5 meters) are usually loners. This makes hunt much more interesting and difficult.

There are two ways of hunting: on water and on the ground. The first one is easier, in the morning the hunters successively visit all previously explored parts of the river, where hippos live and find the most interesting trophy species. The second one is making ambush on a bank. This is usually an evening hunt aiming at already known hippo male. In the morning the hunters usually try to examine the animal thoroughly and in the evening they find a place for the ambush at the path the animal takes to reach his favorite water area.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1994 – 61 12\16 points, 154-th place worldwide, 5-th place in Cameroon

 

 

Western roan antelope

Scientific name – Hippotragus equinus. Roan is the second big antelope in Cameroon (after eland) The mature male can weight about 270 kilograms and be 145cm high. The animal has a complexion resembling a horse and a grayish-brown color. They have a small wiry crest and a black dewlap, bigger if the animal is male. The neb is black and is covered with white marks that look like a mask. The animal has very long ears with small penicils. The horns are sickle-shaped, thicker at the base if the animal is male. The males also have longer horns.

The animals live in herds of up to 20 species, usually there is one male leader, several younger males aged less than 2 years, the others are females and young stock.

It feeds mostly on grass, drunks much and often. It can attack a hunter if wounded.

The roan is mostly hunted by tracking the fresh traces.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1990 – 76 points, 42-nd place worldwide, 8-th place in Cameroon

1996 – 75 2\8 points, 48-th place worldwide, 11-th place in Cameroon

1995 – 69 6\8 points, 90-th place worldwide, 48-th place in Камеруне

 

African rock python

Scientific name – Python sebae. The biggest snake in Cameroon, it has length up to 6 meters or more (we have got a python 605 centimeters long in 2009 and maximal trophy python length registered was 921 centimeters). It lives alone and mostly comes out of its covert (usually it is an old anteater hole) only when hungry. Upon catching an animal (a monkey, an antelope, etc.) the python swallows the whole body and returns to his covert, where he can stay for the nwxt several months digesting its prey.

Cameroon is the only country in the world, where the rock python hunt is official. it is conducted in the following way: the pathfinders seek for the fresh python trace, returned to its covert after hunting. The place is marked and then the team with the hunter returns to this spot. Several pits are dug until the nest chamber where the python rests is found. As the coverts are very twiggy and it is not always to predict where the python would hide, the search can take several hours sometimes. After the python is fount the hunter shoots it in the head and it is taken out of the covert.

 

Nigerian reedbuck

Scientific name – Redunca redunca nigeriensis. This is a middle size antelope (weight – up to 50 kg, height – up to 80 cm at crest), with a dull-colored hide – mostly grey and yellowish. its legs have a black stripe on the front. Only males have horns, the horns have an interesting form – they are thick at the base and curved forward.

The males mostly are loners; the females keep together with the calves. They feed on grass and drink much water.

This animal is hunted by tracking the fresh traces. You can also occasionally meet the animal while riding a car.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1991 – 20 4\8 points, 14-th place worldwide, 6-th place in Cameroon

1989 – 19 points, 25-th place worldwide, 12-th place in Cameroon

1997 – 18 3\8 points, 30-th place worldwide, 16-th place in Cameroon

 

Western Bush Duiker

Scientific name – Sylvicapra grimmia coronate. This is a small antelope (not more than 45 cm high, weight – up to 15 kg.) It has a grey and brown dull hide. The horns worn only by males are simple, with a thicker round base and sharp ends. Bush duikers have distinctive tufts of hair on their heads.

The duikers mostly are seen alone. They mostly have nocturnal habits but you can also often see them during the day. The animal is omnivorous, but usually feed on tree and bush branches. It also eats fruit, cereals, different insects, eggs and nestlings and can stand without water for a long time.

These antelopes are not usually hunted intentionally but they are often taken as atrophy in between.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1994 – 13 4\16 points, 16-th place worldwide, 6-th place in Cameroon

1995 – 13 1\16 points, 19-th place worldwide, 8-th place in Cameroon

1995 – 12 15\16 points, 21-st place worldwide, 9-th place in Cameroon

 

Harnessed Bushbuck

Scientific name – Tragelaphus scriptus scriptus. This is the smallest of all bushbucks, height up to 75 cm, weigh up to 45 kg. it is a very beautiful antelope, with striped and dotted chestnut hide. Such a hide give the animal good camouflage in the wood and in the bush. Males have horns which look like straight one (rarely more) turn spiral with two distinct ribs.

Bushbucks usually live alone (except females with calves). They are active both at night and during the day. These animals feed mostly on leaves, fresh shoots, tree and bush fruit. They are very cautious. Bushbuck’s voice (loud barking) resembles the baboon voice.

Despite the small size, it can attack the hunter when wounded and injure him seriously.

The animal is hunted by tracing. You can also occasionally meet it when hunting other animals.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1990 – 36 4\8 points, 19 place worldwide, 3-rd place in Cameroon

1996 – 36 2\8 points, 21 place worldwide, 5-th place in Cameroon

1989 – 35 7\8 points, 23 place worldwide, 6-th place in Cameroon

 

Bubal hartebeest

Scientific name – Alcelaphus buselaphus invadens. This is a big antelope (height up to 135 cm). Крупная антилопа (рост в холке – до 135 см). The hide color is brown and sandy and, legs are covered with darker hair. A distinct white stripe goes crosses the eyes. Both males and females have shaped horns, female horns are smaller and more elegant.

The animals live in family groups up to 30 species, including the male leader, females and calves. Young males live in separate groups. Old males live alone. The hartebeests feed mostly on grass. The animals can stand without water for several days. They have good sense of smell. Despite the apparent awkwardness it can run at speed of 70 kilometers per hour. Wounded bubal often attacks the hunter. This animal is one of the best baits for the lion.

Our hunting zone has a considerable permanent hartebeest population, so we rarely organize hunt for this animal deliberately – it is usually rather easy to find a trophy quality animal while hunting the other animals.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1995 – 72 points, 17-th place worldwide, 15-th place in Cameroon

1996 – 71 6\8 points, 19-th place worldwide, 18-th place in Cameroon

1991 – 70 4\8 points, 26-th place worldwide, 26-th place in Cameroon

 

Ellipsen Waterbuck

Scientific name – Kobus ellipsiprymnus unctuosus. This is a big antelope (weight up to 270 kgs, height 135 cm) with a rather long grayish-brown coat. The coat is covered by exhalation from skin glands and the dust easily sticks to it, so the animal looks mostly the same color as the soil in the region. The horns of waterbuck have distinct ring-shaped nubs, they look backward and up. Only males have horns.

Waterbucks live in groups of up to 20 animals, containing from a leader, females and calves. Males outside the herd live in bachelor groups (younger and old males driven out of family by stronger competitors). Younger females also often form groups. Most interesting species from the trophy point of view are old males in bachelor groups – their trophies have high quality and the harm for the population is minimal, as these species do not propagate.

The animal mostly feeds no grass and drinks much. It often enters the water stream, especially trying to save itself from the chase. The wounded male can attack the hunter.

The animal is hunted by tracking.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1995 – 78 points, 19-th place worldwide, 3-rd place in Cameroon

1990 – 75 4\8 points, 39-th place worldwide, 5-th place in Cameroon

1997 – 73 points, 59-th place worldwide, 13-th place in Cameroon

 

Red-flanked duiker

Scientific name – Cephalophus rufilatus. This is a small antelope, weighting up to 15 kgs and up to 50 cm high. This is a graceful animal, its coat is red-orange, and horns, legs and tuft are black. Only males have simple, awl-like horns, with round nubs at the base.

The animal lives mostly alone, sometimes in couples. Feeds on grass and bush leaves.

The animal is usually not hunted deliberately, red-flanked duikers are mostly obtained along the way.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1996 – 11 14\16 points, 13-th place worldwide, 6-th place in Cameroon

1997 – 11 6\16 points, 20-th place worldwide, 12-th place in Cameroon

1990 – 11 2\6 points, 24-rth place worldwide, 15-th place in Cameroon

 

Kob antelope

Scientific name – Kobus kob kob. This is a medium size antelope – its height is up to 86 cm, weight up to 70 kg. The hide has a yellowish-golden brown color; the belly and the lower chest are white. It also has white zone around the eyes. Only males have horns and it is interesting that there are 3 morphological types of horns – so one hunter can gather all the 3 varieties from the same type of animal.

The animal lives in herds often bigger than 100 species. This is the most widely spread antelope in our hunting zone (according to the latest calculations made by WWF – more than 7000 animals). There is usually one (sometimes 2 or more) old males in the herd, along with females and calves. Young males form separate groups.

The animal feeds on marsh grass and cereals, drinks much and often. The animal is not timid but becomes cautious and runs away from a man and a car when hunted often.

There is no special hunt for the kob; the population is so dense that the hunt looks just like choosing the most interesting trophy.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1993 – 58 5\8 points, 10-th place worldwide, 2-nd place in Cameroon

1996 – 57 2\8 points, 19-th place worldwide, 8-th place in Cameroon

1995 – 56 3\8 points, 26-th place worldwide, 12-th place in Cameroon

 

Oribi

Scientific name – Ourebia ourebi ourebi. This is a small antelope (height – up to 65 cm, weight – up to 20 kg). This is a graceful animal with long thin horns. The hide color is yellowish-brown, the belly and chest up to the chin is white. Only male species have horns, simple, awl-like with round nubs at the base. The females are about 1\3 larger than males.

Oribi usually live in couples, each couple or group owns a piece of land which they protect from other oribi. The animals are mostly active at night and in the morning.

They feed on grass and bush leaves and need much water. When feeling danger they often try to hide in the grass but not run.

There is usually no special hunt for the oribi – they are hunted along the way.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1989 – 14 points, 54-th place worldwide, 5-th place in Cameroon

 

Warthog

Scientific name – Phacochoerus aethiopicus massaicus. This is the animal resembling europena hog, but with much bigger tusks (and unlike the European hog, his lower tusks are longer than upper ones). At the same tine, warthog is sufficiently smaller: his height is not more than 85 cm and weight – not more than 115 kg. His skin has little hair, mostly in the crest along the back and neck. It’s color is gray and brown (depends upon soil color in the region). The neb of the male warthog is covered with so-called warts – skin outgrowth without bone under them. The animal has a long thin tail with a small cluster of hair at the end, warthog rises it up when running. Females have no distinct warts, their body and tusks are smaller.

Warthog lives in natural caves, old aardvark and anteater dens, that he widens using his tusks. Cameroon warthog population peculiarities are bigger body and smaller tusks than in Southern Africa. Big groups are also not characteristic of Cameroon – there are usually groups of 2-4 animals. They feed on plant bulbs, grass, carrion, maggots and bird eggs. Warthogs like water and often rest in the dirt.

There is not special hunt for warthog – they are hunted along the way.

 

Spotted hyena

Scientific name – Crocuta crocuta. This is the biggest of hyenas (height up to 90 cm, weight 70-80 kg). The hyena females are 10% bigger and heavier than males. Hyena is a strong animal, with big head and powerful jaws (it can easily crash even biggest tubular bones). Its coat is shirt; color varies from grey to yellow, with round brown spots. Male and female genitals look so similar that it is often impossible to determine the gender of the animal.

Hyenas are gregarious; in Cameroon they live in smaller clans where females are the leaders. Each clan has its own den (mostly a small cave or a crevice) where the get lives and grows. Lonely hyenas are quite usual. They are active at twilight and in the dark. Despite common prejudice hyenas do not mostly feed on carrion, they hunt and eat they prey, often rather big animals – bubals, waterbucks etc. They also eat nestlings and eggs. Hyena consumes the whole animal – with hoofs, hide etc, and drinks regularly.

Most efficient way of hunting hyenas is leaving baits. For a hyena the bait should be put lower than for a lion, or just left on the ground. It is possible also to meet the animal occasionally – especially in the evening, returning from the hunt.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1990 – 18 10\16 points, 21 place worldwide, 1 place in Cameroon

 

Jackal

Scientific name – Canis aureus. This is a minor animal of yellow-grayish color with touch of gold. It’s height is up to 50 cm and it’s length is about 80 cm.

This scavenger is considerably rare in Cameroon. It feeds on nestlings, reptiles, amphibians, etc.

Jackal can be found at twilight as occasional trophy.

If the hunter wants to get jackal deliberately – he uses a bait (small animal or a bird).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porcupine

Scientific name – Hystrix cristata Linnaeus. This is a big rodent, whose coat has changed into prickles in the evolution process. It can weight about 5 kg and more. Feeds on bulbs, roots and other plant food.

This is a nocturnal animal, it lives in dens, caves etc. The porcupine is hunted along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genet

Scientific name – Genetta Genetta. A small animal (body length up to 50 cm) of viverridae family. Genet is active at night, feeds on small vertebrates, eggs and nestlings. The animal is hunted along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civet

Scientific name – Civettictis civetta. This is a big animal from viverridae family (body length up to 90 cm, weight up to 20 kg), with a typical black and white coat, the hairs along the back and neck are long and civet can rise them to form a hair pick.

Civet is an omnivorous nocturnal animal. It usually lives alone, but living in small groups is also possible.

It is usually not hunted deliberately, but such a hunt can be organized. The hunters use bait covered with maggots – they are delicious for a civet.

Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1997 – 8 13\16 points, 22-nd place worldwide, 5-th place in Cameroon

1996 – 8 11\16 points, 24-th place worldwide, 6-th place in Cameroon

 

 

White-tailed mongoose

Scientific name – Ichneumia albicauda. This is a minor (not more than 3 kg) mammal, active mostly at might and twilight. Mongoose is omnivorous; it can feed both on plants and small animals. No deliberate hunting for them is organized.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baboon

Scientific name – Papio anubis. Body length – up to 80 cm, weight – up to 15 kg. This primate is a social animal with a high grade of social organization – the groups can consist of 80 and more baboons, they are highly hierarchical and segregate their duties. The group is dominated by several big males. The baboons can conduct complex activities – for example the group can organize a bay hunt – they bay some small animals (antelopes for example) in the direction where strong males are waiting in ambush.

Baboons are omnivorous, can eat carrion, maggots, small animals. They cause much harm both to agricultural and hunting farms.

There is no special hunt for baboon, it can be a side trophy.

 

 

Patas monkey

Scientific name – Erythrocebus patas. It is the only species classified in the genus Erythrocebus. The patas monkey grows to 85 cm in length, excluding the tail, which measures about the same length. The coat is reddish brown, forearms, belly and the tail end are light yellow, and the whiskers are white (that is why these monkeys are called in Russian hussar monkeys).

They live in groups of up to 20monkeys, feed mostly on plants, but eat small animals if possible.

There is no special hunt for patas monkey; it can be a side trophy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vervet monkey

Scientific name – Cercopithecus aethiops. This is a small monkey (a little bigger than a domestic cat), with a typical greenish-gray coat. Its side-whiskers are white, the facial skin and other bold fragments of the body are black.

The monkeys live in big groups (often more than 100 animals). The group is controlled by a leader, but domination is not as severe as it is with baboons.

The vervet monkeys are omnivorous.

There is no special hunt for vervet monkey; it can be a side trophy.

 

 

 

Serval

Scientific name – Leptailurus serval. This cat has body up to 100 cm long (excluding the tail) and weights up to 18 kg. It has longest legs in all Felidae family. The coat color is dark gold, spotted with black. The belly is white; The tail is short and striped black. This nocturnal animal lives alone. It feeds on birds and small rodents, sometimes snakes and lizards.

Deliberate hunting is usually impossible. The animal can be hunted in case of chance encounter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red river hog

Scientific name – Potamocherus porcus. This is a very nice medium size pig (weight up to 115 kg, height up to 80 cm) with red coat. The legs are of darker color. The males have small warts, their tusks are also small, the lower tusks are longer than the upper ones (same with the European hog). Females look practically like males.

Red river hogs live in small groups (up to 15 animals) and always stay near water. They are nostly nocturnal and spend the daytime in the thick bush. The hogs are omnivorous but mostly feed on plants.

These animals are hunted by tracking and ambush at feeding grounds. Our official records (SCI book 2008):

1995 – 16 5\16 points, 16-th place worldwide, 6-th place in Cameroon

1996 – 14 11\16 points, 30-th place worldwide, 10-th place in Cameroon

1993 – 13 2\16 points, 37-th place worldwide, 11-th place in Cameroon

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