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Impala

Afrikaans name: Rooibok

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Impala ram

Photo © Steven Herbert

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A magnificent Impala ram on the open grasslands

Photo © Steven Herbert

Aepyceros melampus

Interesting facts about Impala

The Impala is a common, even abundant in some areas, medium sized antelope. It prefers woodland and savanna habitats but can be seen in a variety of places. In some game parks they have moved into the camp sites and live quite happily with all the human activity taking place around them.

Despite the Impalas attractive colouration it is often ignored because of it being so common and its habit of standing on or near the road.

Impalas can weigh up to 60 kg. They stand up to 90 cm in height at the shoulder. Females are smaller than males and lack horns.

Larger herds of Impala can number between 100 and 200 individuals although most herds tend to be in the range of 20 to 50 animals. Herds are controlled by a territorial male who will chase other rams away. Young males are chased out the herd at fairly young age.

Females give birth to one calf. They head off into thick bush on their own to give birth. They rejoin the herd a few days later.

The Impala is both a grazer and browser depending on the availability of food. They eat grass, leaves, shoots and seeds.

A number of predators prey on them including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Spotted Hyena and Wild Dog. At times Impala will leap into the air, particularly when skittish.

A bachelor herd of Impalas in Kruger National Park

Photo © Steven Herbert

Young Impala rams

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Three young male Impalas

Below - A female Impala


Female Impala

Photo © Steven Herbert

Male Impalas practice fighting

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - Impala rams, in bachelor herds, often indulge in play fighting which becomes more serious when males defend their harems during rutting season. Impala rams trying out their fighting skills

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References

List of South African Mammals

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