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Blesbok

   

Introduction: Physically, rams and ewes are remarkably similar. A characteristic of the Blesbok is the prominent white blaze on the face and a horizontal brown strip which divides this blaze above the eyes. Both sexes carry horns, ringed almost to the tip. Female horns are slightly more slender.
Distribution: The Blesbok’s distribution is restricted to the Republic of South Africa. Its historic range includes the Eastern Cape, Free State, southern parts of the former Transvaal, marginally in KwaZulu-Natal along the upper reaches of the Tugela River and into Lesotho, west of the Maluti Mountains. It was once one of the most abundant antelope species of the African plains, but Blesbok have become scarce since 1893 due to relentless hunting for their skins and meat. In Namibia they are usually found in the Etosha National Park and on privately owned game farms.

Diet: The Blesbok is a grazing species, showing preference for short grass, and particularly favors fresh green grass appearing after a veld burn.

Coloring: Body colour is brown with a lighter coloured saddle on the back, and the rump an even lighter shade. The legs are brown with a white patch behind the top part of the front legs. Lower legs whitish

Breeding: The Blesbok is a seasonal breeder. Rutting occurs during March to May. Births peak during November and December after a gestation period of about 240 days. Females give birth to single calves.

Behavior: The Blesbok is closely related to the Bontebok. Historically, the distributions of these two species did not overlap. Interbreeding on lands where both subspecies are now located has been recorded. Preferred habitat is open grasslands with water.

Size: Their mass can be as much as 85 kg

   
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