The Springbok has been an icon of Africa just how like Lions are. In fact, the South African rugby team is named “The Springboks” after this famous antelope. Springboks are the most abundant antelope in the central and western areas of South Africa, but most of them are now confined to farmland and reserves, with only a few herds free roaming in it’s natural habitat. The Springbok used to be found in hundreds of thousands all over southern Africa but were almost hunted to extinction by the first settlers. The rams weigh in at a modest 50kg, and the ewes only 37kg. They have a distinctive colour that makes them stand out amongst other species of antelope: The upper body is a light brown ‘cinnamon’ colour, while a dark brown stripe is on both flanks from it’s front legs to the rear legs. The tail is brown tufted and the rump has a triangular-shaped white patch, while the horns of eyes are slightly shorter than those of rams. Springboks are selective feeders who browse in the dry season and graze just after the rainy season when grasses and flowers bloom. They drink water regularly but yet they can survive in droughts by eating moisture filled tubers and roots.

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Courtesy of Y Nakanishi/flickr