Status: Least Concern
Names: rooibok or common impala
Description: It features a glossy, reddish brown coat, white underbelly, white rings around the eyes and a light chin and snout. The male's slender, lyre-shaped horns are 45–92 cm long. The ears are tipped with black. Black streaks run from the buttocks to the upper hind-legs. The bushy white tail is long, features a solid black stripe along the mid-line.
The common impala is a medium-sized antelope and the most numerous animal found in the major Zambian national parks and throughout eastern and southern Africa. They are gregarious move in large herds.
Fun Facts !
Ecology and Behaviour
Impalas have a symbiotic relationship with Oxpecker birds. The oxpeckers selectivively choose the impala even in the presence of other types of antelope. They feed on ticks from parts of the antelope's body which the animal cannot reach by itself (such as the ears, neck, eyelids, forehead and underbelly). Impala browse as well as graze. They are mixed feeders and eat mainly grass in the wet season and leaves as the dry season progresses. They can also be found eating the fallen red fleshly flowers of the sausage tree. To escape their pursuers they employ a confusing, zig zag escape route, with sudden directional changes and exceptionally high leaps making it difficult for the pursuing attacker to strike.
It is listed as "Least concern" on the IUCN Red list.
Distribution and Habitat
The impala inhabits woodlands due to its preference for shade; it can also be found between woodlands, savannahs and especially near water. They tend to be associated with the mopane and Acacia woodland trees. Impala tend to keep away from areas with tall grasses as predators could be concealed there.
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