Royal Antelope

ANIMAL:
Royal Antelope  Neotragus pygmaeus

Type of Animal:
Antelope

Habitat:
Lowland forest, forest edge

Location(s):
Guinean forest of W. Africa

Appearance:
Smallest antelope in world, calves can fit into average person’s open hand, male has small, spike-like horns, reddish brown to golden brown coloration w/ pale underbelly.

Food/Diet:
Leaves, shoots, flowers, fruit, fungi

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos

Lifestyle:
Solitary or male-female pairs

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Buck
Female-Doe
Young-Fawn/Calf
Group-Pair

Weight:
Male-4 lbs
Female-3.28 lbs
Young-10.56 oz

Gestation:
4 months

Height:
3.84-4.8 in

Body Length:
1.3-1.64 ft

Life Span:
6 years

Tail Length:
1.92-3.12 in

Main predators are chimps, leopards, raptors, crocodiles, pythons, & vipers.

Important source of food for many African tribes.

Territories usually about 328 sq ft are marked with dung.

Sexually mature at 6 months old.

Despite small size, they can leap as far as 9 ft in single bound & as high as 1.8 ft from standing start.

Typically nocturnal or crepuscular.

They’re very shy & flighty, often fleeing or jumping at slightest hint of danger.

Usually weaned at 2 months old.

Very few in-depth studies have been made on this species.

First described by Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 10th edition of Systema Naturae (1758).

Fun Fact(s):
This species is a key character in many folktales from Sierra Leone.

Renowned for speed & wiseness in Liberian folklore.

The name is said to derive from Liberian designation as “King of the Hares.”

It is taboo to hunt this species in Liberia.

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