Steenbok


Steenbok is a common, small antelope of southern and eastern Africa.  It is, sometimes, known as Steinbuck or Steinbok.
Their pelage (coat) is any shade from fawn to rufous, typically rather orange.  The underside, including chin and throat, is white, as is the ring around the eye.  The ears are large with “finger-marks” on the inside.  The males have straight, smooth parallel horns(7 – 19cm long).  There is a black crescent-shape between the ears, a long black bridge to the glossy black nose, and a black , scent-gland in front of the eye.  The tail is not usually visible, being only 4-6cm long.
Raphicerus_campestris_male_(Etosha,_2012)
Steenbok live in a variety of habitats, from semi-desert, such as the edge of the Kalahari Desert and Etosha National Park, to open woodland and thickets including open plains, stony savannah, and Acacia-grassland mosaics.  During cool periods steenbok are active throughout the day, however, during hotter periods they rest under the shade during the heat of the day.  While resting, they may be busy grooming, ruminating or taking brief spells of sleep.
steenbok_by_parallel_pam-d3gx3mj
Steenbock-greetingAt the first sign of threat, they lie low in the vegetation. If a predator or perceived threat comes closer, a steenbok will leap away and follow a zigzag route to try to shake off the pursuer.  Known predators are the African wild cat, caracal, jackal, leopard, martial eagle and pythons.
They are solitary animals, except when a pair comes together to mate.  Breeding occurs throughout the year, although more fawns are born from November to December.  Steenboks are known to live for 7 years or more.
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