Friday, June 11, 2010

AFRICA - DEER & ANTELOPE

The most common of these species seen on our safaris is the Impala - I called them "Prey". They are beautiful animals but after a couple of days of photos, they became 'the I word'. Here are some of the better shots I took of them.



Here's a male impala in the grass. If he had his own harem, he would not be this relaxed. Perhaps he has the right idea.










Here's a male with his harem. We were watching this herd because there was a young leopard up a tree keeping his eye on them as potential lunch but they moved off and he went hungry. The males work hard keeping their ladies in check, keeping other males away and watching out for predators.






This is my favorite photo of female Impalas. The markings on the rear-ends are so striking. (Am I weird?)








When a male Impala doesn't rate a harem, he usually joins a 'bachelor herd' and the lads travel together for security They also practice fighting and eventually may attempt to take over a harem of their own. Here's such a herd with some Giraffe - good lookouts for predators.







This is one of the smaller antelope we saw. A grey Duiker (drop the 'u'). Very delicate and quite timid. Their name comes from Dutch for 'diver' because of their habit of 'diving into the brush' when startled.






Kudu are among the larger antelope. They have stripes and spots on their bodies and a tuft of hair running down their backs. They also have a slight hump above the shoulders. Males are generally solitary and females and young form the herds.







This male had a few oxpeckers on him - picking off the ticks and other parasites as we saw on many animals.










Here are some females with young. When they give birth, they will leave the herd and will not bring the young into the herd until they are 4 - 5 weeks old. The female will leave her young alone to feed, only returning to nurse it. No other antelope or deer leaves their offspring alone for so long.








This is a male Lechwe (letch'wee). Like most antelope, they are active mostly around dawn and dusk and can usually be found around bodies of water.






This is a Tsessebe (sess'uh bee) .. a rusty-brown antelope with black on the legs. Both sexes have horns. This one was on a grassy mound surveying his herd and hopefully watching out for predators.










Waterbuck are grass-eating antelope usually found near water, but despite their name, they don't spend much time in the water unless frightened. They have a white circle on their rumps and remind me a little of caribou.






Last but not least, the Wildebeest (also know as the Gnu). Males can stand over 4' at the shoulder and weigh up to 600 pounds. They can live 30 years, if not eaten. They are from the Bovidae family which includes cattle, goats, etc.

1 comment:

  1. Jen, thanks for helping identify each one - I wasn't sure which was which other than the Impalas...........thousands of 'em!!!

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