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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa

Roan Antelope


Introduction: The roan (Hippotragus equinus) is a very large antelope, only surpassed in size by the eland. The name refers to its general colour and it is considered an endangered species in Namibia. They are gregarious and live in small herds of around 5 to 12. Roan are not considered territorial, but an essential difference between them and other species is that the dominant bull defends his females from the attention of other males, as opposed to a specific piece of ground within which they are living.

Distribution: They occur in the north-eastern parts of Namibia, mainly the Caprivi Strip and they have also been re-introduced into Waterberg Plateau Park.

Diet: Roans are predominantly grazers and browse constitutes a small percentage of their food. The feed on medium to long grass, avoiding areas of short grass. They are not 'close croppers' such as wildebeest or zebra, preferring grass of heights of up to 1.5m.

Coloring: A grayish-brown body colour is tinged with strawberry. It has a black or very dark brown face that extends to the neck, with a strongly contrasting white patch over the top of the muzzle, round the nostrils and onto either side of the lips and on to the chin.

Breeding: The gestation period is between 276 and 287 days and females give birth to 1 calf. A few days before the calf is born the female leaves the herd and seeks cover and concealment. After it is born she remains with it for a few days.

Size: Males stand around 140cm at the shoulder and weigh up to 270kg, the females slightly smaller and lighter. Both sexes carry horns.

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