what to see / Klipspringer

Introduction: The klipspringer (Oreotragus) is one of nature's most unique creatures, notably in 2 variations not found in any other species of antelope. The first is the hoof structure. The klipspringer (rock jumper) is able to walk on the tip of its hoof because the 'last joint of the digit has rotated'. It also leaves an unmistakable double-rounded spoor, a peculiarity that allows extra grip and provides the klipspringer the ability to climb smooth rock surfaces and jump from boulder to boulder to escape predators. The second adaptation is its thick, coarse hair which protects the klipspringer if it falls and provides insulation in extremes of mountain summer and winter temperatures. Klipspringers travel short distances amongst rocks, often in groups of up to 8. They have a tenancy to stop and stand on a rock and watch its pursuer. This works fine in the animal kingdom, but unfortunately makes it vulnerable to hunters, who take the opportunity to shoot them... read more  Read More