Gemsbok are another big antelope, being in fact the largest in the Oryx species in the world. Gemsbok have very large horns – being around 85cm in length – which makes humans their number one predator as hunters, who like to use the horns as trophies. However, they are used by Gemsbok to fight other males with for mating rights and for territories. This can be a particularly violent as the two makes will hit the opposing male with such vigour the crashing sound can be heard from up to a couple of kilometres away. But the females use them simply for self-defence against predators and to protect their young. Gemsbok like grazing pastures, but in dry seasons when rain and grasses are sparse it can dig with its horns to get water from moisture in roots and tubers, as well as sometimes melons and cucumbers which provides plenty of moisture. Gemsbok are found almost exclusively in Namibia, Botswana and some parts of South Africa where they live in herds of up to 40 animals and at least 10. The herd is ruled over by the dominant male, a few non-dominate males, and the rest is made up by females. To defend against predators such as Lions they use their horns which can fatally wound them, or they can run up to speeds of 60km/h which isn’t far off a cheetahs fastest sprint, and they often can simply outrun Lions.
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