Sharpe’s Grysbok

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30d_2_img_7211_2_lr_ps_gAn Elusive Antelope

This image of a female Sharpe’s Grysbok (Raphicerus sharpei) captured in the Kruger National Park SA. These small antelope are solitary animals except during the mating season when they can be seen in pairs. They are mainly nocturnal but can be found browsing during cool mornings and late afternoon, during the heat of the day they rest under thick shelter and this makes them difficult to sight.

I have only encountered them in the norther sections of the Kruger Park and on the few occasions this has happened I am reminded of how special the sighting actually is.

Although its territorial range is large, Sharpe’s Grysbok are infrequently seen. Males and females seem to form brief associations, but the species is usually encountered singly. Only rams have horns which are 60 to 100mm in length, Sharpe’s Grysbok are principally browsers, feeding on the leaves and young shoots of shrubs and bushes. Territory is marked with dung middens, their habitat is rocky hill country, but preferring fertile zones on the lower slopes. They are extremely timid and will run away at the first sign of anything unusual, although this flight is accompanied “short stamping hops” they move well away from where the disturbance occurred before stopping (unlike Steenbok, which stop and look back). Sharpe’s Grysbok are reported to take refuge in aardvark burrows, like steenbok.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpe%27s_grysbok

Mammals Of Southern Africa: Burger Cilliè

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