Though small in stature, the Steenboks are definitely a sight to see with their large ears, interesting markings and beautiful golden brown fur. You can spot them in sub-saharan Africa in open grasslands. Their population is stable and they’re listed as ‘least concern’ under the IUCN Red List.
What They Are
The Steenbok is an antelope, similar to the gray duiker and oribi and they are also herbivores who feast on leaves, shrubs, fruits and grasses. They exhibit diurnal behaviour, being active during the day while occasionally seeking shade when midday temperatures increase. However, they can occasionally be seen being active at night. To differentiate between the rams and ewes, simply look out for horns because the males sport small horns, while the females do not. They are some of the smaller antelopes, measuring up to 60cm at shoulder height and only weighing up to 12kgs.
What They Do
When being pursued by predators, the steenbok would rather hide in grasslands by dropping to the ground and lying low. Only when the predator gets too close will the herbivore make a run for it. Their prey includes lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, jackals, pythons, eagles and many more. Newborns are even at risk of being attacked by raptors, baboons and monitor lizards.
- The Steenbok are known to dig a hole to urinate or defecate into and then cover it up once they’re done.
- Their scientific name is Raphicerus campestris.
- They are able to go without water for a long time because they get all the moisture they need from their food.
- They are solitary animals that only mingle when it is time to mate. However, they remain monogamous.
- Females are pregnant for approximately 5.5 months and the fawn is hidden by the mother for a few weeks after the birth.
- They have large ears for their otherwise small size, therefore their hearing is top-notch.
- Some of the other names they’re known by include: Steinbok, steenbuck, steinbuck, Raphicère champètre, Steinböckchen, Isha and Dondor.
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