Nyala

ANIMAL:
Nyala Tragelaphus angasii

Type of Animal:
Antelope

Habitat:
Woodland, thickets, grasslands, savanna, areas near water, lush green river country, riverine bush, savanna woodland, scrub forest, dense brush, forests/forest fringes, floodplains, riverbanks, bushveld

Location(s):
S Mozambique, Eswatini, E South Africa, Zimbabwe, N & E Botswana, S Malawi, far S Zambia, NE Namibia, far SE Angola

Appearance:
Females & juveniles rusty to rufous brown w/ white stripes on sides, males much larger & very dark brown to slate grey w/ more reduced stripes as well as line of hair along belly/chest midline & crest down back of neck, only males have spiral horns, young males 1st have spiky horns but they spiral as they get older, males darken & fade stripes w/ age

Food/Diet:
Fruits, pods, twigs, flowers, grasses, leaves, foliage, flowering plants, forbs, seeds, broad-leaved plants, bark, soft green new-growth grass tufts

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, breeding centers, & ranches. Reintroductions into parts of range.

Lifestyle:
Herds range from 4-30 & can be all males, all females, mix of sexes (sometimes multiple breeding males), & harems of a male w/ 3-29 females plus young.

Additional Info:

Called:
Male: Bull
Female: Cow
Young: Calf
Group: Herd
 
Weight:
Male: 216.05-275.58 lbs
Female: 121.25-149.91 lbs
Young: 78 lbs

Gestation:
7 months 

Life Span:
11-15 years

Height:
Male: 3.6 ft
Female: 2.95 ft

Body Length:
Male: 6.5 ft
Female: 4.5 ft

Tail Length:
Male: 1.83 ft
Female: 1.3 ft

Main predators of adults are lions, hyenas, wild dogs, leopards, crocodiles, & rock pythons. Baboons & raptors prey on calves.
 
Females sexually mature at 10-11 months old, males at a year old-males don’t typically reach full size until age 4.
 
Fights often involve horn locking & pushing, though boxing dances also common-2 males size each other up & circle each other-they then fluff up tails/dorsal manes, arching heads forward w/ horns held high.
 
Due to long ears, they have excellent hearing. Also have great sense of smell.
 
While not that fast or strong, they have excellent camouflage.
 
Calves stay in hiding stage for 1st 3 weeks of life.

Fun Fact(s):
Often follow feeding baboons/monkeys, taking advantage of fruits & other food nearby.
 
Produces dog-like barking sound alerting other herd members of danger. Also relies on alarm calls of impala, kudu/other spiral-horned antelopes, baboons, & monkeys as well as alerting them of danger.
 
Males check reproductive condition of females by sniffing genitals-if she’s in heat he courts her by following w/ head stretched forward & pushes nose between hind legs-he then butts her hard enough to lift hindquarters off ground.
 
Spiral horns on males range from 2-2.75 ft long.
 
Males highly prized as game animals.
Male Nyala, stock photo

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