Impala – Aepyceros Melampus
Medium-sized antelope, found in sub-Saharan Africa
Long, graceful, lyrate horns – black tuft of hair above the hoof – thin black line down centre of tail – vertical black line on each – only the rams carry the beautiful lyrate horns.
Impala have an unusual tuft of black hair covering a scent gland on the hind legs, above the hooves.
Impala are also known as the Mc Donald’s of Africa
Mass – 65kg (male) 45kg (female)
Horn Length – 50cm (average)
Shoulder Height – 90cm (male) 85cm (female)
Prolific breeders – a single calf born after a gestation period of approx. 196 days.
During the mating season rams are extremely vocal, giving vent to growls, roars and shorts. Territorial during the “rut” which occurs from January to May.
Usually up to 20 individuals but large breeding herds can number 100
Browsers and grazers – dependent upon availability of water
Major enemies are the large predators (lion, leopard, cheetah) – harsh warning barking snorts are given – to escape their pursuers they employ a confusing, zig zag escape route, with sudden directional changes and exceptionally high leaps making it difficult for the pursuing attacker to strike