Rhebuck

Rhebuck.


Name

Grey Rhebuck (Pelea capreolus)

Appearance

They weigh up to 30 Kg, with a shoulder height of 700-800 mm. This is a slender, long necked, medium sized antelope. It has long narrow ears with a bulbous nose, and a woolly coat with white underparts. Only rams have upright, straight, spike-like horns of 150-250 mm in length, ringed at the bases.

Diet

This antelope is predominantly a browser with a tendency to mixed feeding. They select shrubs and forbs. Roots, seeds and flowers are also taken during June to October.

Breeding

This is a seasonal breeder, and mating takes place during February and April. Single lambs are born after a gestation period of eight months. Pregnant ewes leave the herds three days before young are born. After the birth mothers keep their lambs concealed for six weeks, during which they are retrieved frequently for suckling.

Behaviour

They have complicated social groupings, these animals are found in small groups of up to 12 consisting of an adult ram, a few ewes and lambs. Rams may become solitary. They are territorial in habit and will defend a specific area. They make snorting, groaning and hissing sounds. They are active for most of the day but rest when it becomes hot. They are good jumpers and run with a distinct rocking horse gait, with the fore and hind legs kicked out stiffly with each leap.

Habitat

Within these mountainous regimes, grassveld with some stones and rocks are preferred.

Where they are found

Grey Rhebuck are not common, but is widespread in a suitable habitat. Found in the Eastern and Western Cape, suitable areas westward of the Cape Peninsula, Mpumalanga and Northern Province, high-lying areas of Lesotho, Free State, and the higher Drakensberg areas of KwaZulu-Natal. Adapted to mountain slopes, hills and plateaus.

Predators

Lion, Leopard, Hyena, Cape Hunting Dog, Python and Jackal.

Field Notes

A little known fact is that the Rhebuck is the origin of the Reebok brand of sports show. The name was chosen for the animals ability in mountainous terrain and today is one of the top brands in the world.



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