For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

SABLE ANTELOPE ( Hippotragus niger)

The males are black and the females and young a chestnut brown.  All have white bellies and rumps, hence their name in Afrikaans "black white-stomach".

Usually the males are found by themselves and therefore when a group is together it will have a female as its leader.
Females reach sexual maturity at about two years of age.

As they are dependant on water, they will never be found more than a few kilometers from it, usually in fairly thick bush. In Kruger National Park they can often be seen around the Orpen Rocks area.

When the young are born, the female will hide it for the first few days.

After a gestation period of eight months, a single calf is born  weighing  about fifteen kilograms.
In marking off their territories, the male will also strip the bark off trees with his horns.

Both the males and females have horns and it is a known fact that they are able to kill lions with their long curved horns.

Young males are evicted from the herd at about three years old, and are  then left to find their own territory and mates.

Fighting is common amongst the males and this usually ends in one of them being killed.

Male sable are very aggressive and very often they will kill the younger ones in the herd.

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