Head and body length is 30 to 45 in., tail length is 2 to 5 in., with shoulder height of 18 to 24 in., horns of 3 to 6 in., and weight: of 17.5 to 39.5 lbs. The coat has a yellowish olive gloss, speckled with yellow and brown or orange, shading to white below. The coat harmonizes with the background of rocks. The texture of the coat has been variously described as moss-like and grass-like. The thick, pithy hair lies like a mat on the body to cushion the animal against bumps and bruises in its rocky environment. Females have four mammae. Usually only males have horns.
Class: Mammal (Mammalia)
Range: Northern Nigeria, eastern Central African Republic, northeast and southeast Sudan, Ethiopia, Angola, South Africa
Habitat: Rocky hills and mountains
Lifespan: 12 years in captivity
Wild Diet: Herbivorous, mainly grazers. Primary food is grass.
Zoo Diet: Fruit, yams, monkey chow, vitamin supplement
This little “cliff-springing” antelope might be likened to the chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) or the mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) in its mode of life among the rocks, where it makes rapid progress without apparent suitable footholds. It walks and stands on the tips of the relatively rounded hooves, and can jump onto a rocky projection the size of a silver dollar, landing on it with all four feet. It is crepuscular, being active mainly in the morning and late afternoon, sheltering at other times among rocks and under overhanging cliffs. Groups have exclusive home ranges, which are defended against conspecifics (individuals of the same species) and rarely left. Territories are larger in areas with low rainfall. Groups consist mainly of a mated, monogamous pair and their offspring of one or two years. The adult female initiates most group movements, but the male seems to be mainly responsible for defense. Generally, one member of the group stands at a point above the others and constantly watches for danger. When alarmed, it gives a loud, shrill whistle, and the animals ascend higher into the rocks. Both sexes scent mark the territory with secretions from the preorbital gland and by defecation.
Reproduction is nonseasonal in south-central Africa, but in Ethiopia occurs in August and September. The weight of a newborn is about 2.2 lbs. The offspring remain hidden for 2 to 3 months, and weaning occurs at about 4 to 5 months. Young males separate from the group before they are one year old, but females remain longer, and may eventually mate with their father.
Gestation: 214 to 225 days
Conservation Status: Least Concern