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Sable Antelope

Afrikaans name: Swartwitpens

Sable Antelope

Photo © lienkie -

Hippotragus niger

Interesting facts about Sable

The male Sable is arguably the best looking out of all the antelopes. Their horns can be over 1 metre in length.

Sable are very gregarious and may form herds of up to 40 animals. Herds are normally led by a dominant bull but they will tolerate other bulls.

Male Sable may have fights but these are normally more ritualised than serious. Occasionally though the fights do get serious. The Sable uses its long horns to good effect and it will use them to defend itself against a predator. It will continue fighting off a predator even when it has been brought to the ground.

Sable are quite particular about the habitat that they inhabit. Their ideal habitat consists of tall grass with lots of shrubs and trees.

Females leave the herd just prior to giving birth. They keep their calf in dense bush before rejoining the herd after a few days.

Adult males can weigh up to 250 kg and live for 15 years. Both sexes have horns although those of the male are much longer than the female. Males are much darker than females.

Despite favouring areas with trees and shrubs they only eat grass.

Sable Antelope

Photo © EcoView -



List of South African Mammals

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