Lessons we can learn from animals

I've just returned home from the Peregrine Botswana in Depth (Reverse) trip, where I had the chance to study a lot of wildlife in their natural habitat.

Our incredible local leader, Spokes, has a true affinity for all animals. With every species we saw, he had a fascinating story to tell about how each group functions in the wild.

After hearing a few of these stories, I noticed a pattern emerging. It seems animals live by a lot of pretty sensible rules, and they have certain practices in place to ensure the survival of the species.

So I thought we could take a leaf from their book, and adopt a few of the following rules to help strengthen our own society:

When male elephants reach about ten years of age, the females kick them out and they are forced to join a "bachelor" herd. These bachelor herds are full of wise and worldly uncles, brothers and cousins who help teach the younger males how to behave in society.

This gives the male elephants a chance to learn from their elders, and to channel all those hormones in a positive way (it also helps to avoid in-breeding, but for most of us this shouldn't be a problem in the human world!)

The female impala have got it all worked out when it comes to choosing the right breeding partner. They force the males into a long courtship, where they are required to chase the females over a long period of time.

Often, after a few days the male become tired from all the chasing and must head back to the bachelor herd to replenish his energy before trying again (most likely with his tail between his legs). This ensures that only the strongest males have a chance of breeding with the females, keeping the gene pool strong.

Almost every animal has a way of defending itself, but the most defenseless rely on camouflage and speed.

Giraffes can still defend themselves very well, despite their gangly and fragile appearance. In the words of our wise leader, "a giraffe kick can put a lion down". But it's always safety first. Giraffe will always run before choosing to defend themselves, which helps to avoid unnecessary conflict.

When one lion is injured, it affects the whole pride. And it's up to the females to stick together to ensure survival. Lionesses tend to stay in the pride they are born in, which results in a strong group of sisters, aunts, mothers and grandmothers who have grown up together.

They also tend to do most of the hunting, working together to take on specific roles to ensure there is enough food to go around. A lioness can always rely on her sisters to be waiting in the wings while she hunts, ready to help out at any minute.

What are some other lessons we can learn from animals? Leave a comment in the section below, or head to Twitter and Facebook to share your thoughts with the rest of the Peregrine community.

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