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Sable Antelope

Hippotragus niger

Description - Other Names - Distribution - Taxonomy

Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger) Silhouette

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Sable Antelope © T Kellar

The Sable antelope is found in the south eastern parts of Africa. Sable are grazers and prefer open bushveld or sparsely covered plains away from dense forests. They feed on both leaves and grass.

Herds of up to 50 head are formed by females and sub-adults. These herds are usually led by a cow. Bulls tend to be solitary or form small bachelor herds. Bulls are also very territorial.

Their colour varies from a deap brown to almost black with strongly contrasting white areas on the belly, rump and face. Immature animals are generally light brown. They are higher at the shoulders than at the rump and their strong neck supports their great sweeping horns. These thick and formidable weapons are curved back over the body in an imposing arc, rippled by indented rings for the greater part of their length. Females have shorter horns, not as strongly curved as those of the male.

Breeding occurs all year round and a single calf is born after a gestation period of 8-9 months.

Other Names


Distribution map of the Sable Antelope
Distribution map
of the
Sable Antelope


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