A selection of some of the
larger animals found on Otterskloof
500 – 1000 kg | 1.70 m
Adult bulls spar in play, dominance interactions, or actual fights. A bull approaches another, lowing, with his horns down, and waits for the other bull to do the same thing. When sparring, the bulls twist their horns from side to side. If the sparring is for play, the bull may rub his opponent’s face and body during the sparring session. Actual fights are violent but rare and brief.
240 – 300 kg | 1.40 m
They are similar in appearance to sable antelope and can be confused where their ranges overlap. Sable antelope males are darker, being black rather than dark brown. They form harem groups of five to 15 animals with a dominant male. Roan antelope commonly fight among themselves for dominance of their herd, brandishing their horns while both animals are on their knees.
350 – 450 kg | 1.30 m
Zebras are several species of African equids united by their distinctive black and white striped coats. Their stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds.
800 – 1200 kg | 6.00 m
Giraffes are very good at conserving water in the hot African climate. They are able to conserve and maintain their body temperature in part because of their shape; their long thin legs allow heat to be released quickly. The fact that they are unable to drink water without having to spread their front legs far apart, has made them adapt another way to consume less water than smaller animals.
190 – 315 kg | 2.50 m
When threatened, the kudu will often run away rather than fight. Wounded bulls have been known to charge the attacker, hitting the attacker with their sturdy horn base rather than stabbing it. Wounded females can keep running for many miles without stopping to rest for more than a minute. . They are good jumpers and can clear a 5-foot fence from a standing start.
180 – 225 kg | 1.45 m
In each herd, the juvenile males are exiled from the herd around three years old. All of the female calves remain, however. When the herd gets too large, it divides into smaller groups of cows and their young. These groups form new herds, once again with only one adult bull. The young males, which have been separated from the herd, associate in “bachelor groups” of up to 12 individuals.
220 – 300 kg | 1.20 m
The giant oryx or gemsbuck, as it is more commonly known, is a magnificent animal. He inhabits the open country and can survive in the harshest of conditions. A native of the Kalahari, he can go without surface water for months, absorbing moisture from what he eats. A social herd animal, he is primarily a grazer but will occasionally browse if necessary.
400 – 940 kg | 1.60 m
Eland herds are accompanied by a loud clicking sound that has been subject to considerable speculation. It is believed that the weight of the animal causes the two halves of its hooves to splay apart, and the clicking is the result of the hoof snapping together when the animal raises its leg. The sound carries some distance from a herd and may be a form of communication.
95 – 125 kg | 1.20 m
The nyala, also called inyala, is a spiral-horned antelope native to southern Africa. Only the males have horns. Females and young males have ten or more white vertical stripes on their sides. Other markings are visible on the face, throat, flanks and thighs. Stripes are very reduced or absent in older males. Both males and females have a white chevron between their eyes.
120 – 270 kg | 1.50 m
The blue wildebeest is a herbivore, feeding primarily on the short grasses. It forms herds which move about in loose aggregations, the animals being fast runners and extremely wary. The mating season begins at the end of the rainy season and a single calf is usually born after a gestational period of about eight and a half months.
40 – 75 kg | 0.92 m
The impala is diurnal (active mainly during the day), though activity tends to cease during the hot midday hours; they feed and rest at night. Three distinct social groups can be observed – the territorial males, bachelor herds and female herds. The territorial males hold territories where they may form harems of females; territories are demarcated with urine and faeces and defended against juvenile or male intruders.
110 – 180 kg | 1.20 m
Both sexes have strong horns that curve forward, resembling hooks and are up to 78 cm long. The horns have a broad base in mature males, and are flattened to form a protective shield. In females, the horns are both shorter and narrower.
200 – 300 kg | 1.40 m
The waterbuck exhibits great dependence on water. It can not tolerate dehydration in hot weather, and thus inhabits areas close to sources of water. However, it has been observed that unlike the other members of its genus (such as the kob and puku), the waterbuck ranges farther into the woodlands while maintaining its proximity to water.
10 – 12 kg | 0.60 m
At the first sign of trouble, steenbok typically lie low in the vegetation. If a predator or perceived threat comes closer, a steenbok will leap away and follow a zigzag route to try to shake off the pursuer. Escaping steenbok frequently stop to look back, and flight is alternated with prostration during extended pursuit. They are known to take refuge in the burrows of Aardvarks.
33 – 48 kg | 0.90 m
Springbok often go into bouts of repeated high leaps (of up to 2 m) into the air – a practice known as pronking or stotting. In pronking, the springbok performs multiple leaps into the air in a stiff-legged posture, with the back bowed and the white flap lifted. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a conspicuous fan shape, which in turn emits a strong scent of sweat.
60 – 70 kg | 1.00 m
The blesbuck is both farmed and hunted for the skin, meat, and trophy. Blesbuck are shy and alert; they rely on speed and endurance to escape predators, but have an tendency to return to the place where they were attacked after a few minutes. They can maintain a speed of 70 km/h when chased, but, like other white-fronted damalisques, blesbuck are not good jumpers or crawlers.