Hunting Common Blesbuck


SPECIES: Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi

IDENTIFICATION:  The Blesbuck has a distinct white blaze on the face. The belly, inner parts of the buttocks and the legs, below the knee are white. Both the males and female have horns. Found in herds, this species is highly territorial; if disturbed the blesbok runs upwind in single file.

The Blesbuck, like the bontebok, is a subspecies of Damaliscus dorcas. It is found on the Highveld where it is capable of withstanding extreme cold. Duller than the bontebok, it is, however, similar in physical structure.

SHOULDER HEIGHT: 93cm

HABITAT: Grasslands of Highveld and coastal plains.

MASS: 59-80 kg

BREEDING: 1 calf is born usually from September-February, the gestation period is 8-8.5 months (240 days).

DIET: It is purely a grazer. Drinks regularly.

CHARACTERISTICS: Blesbuck prefer grazing in the early morning and late afternoons, resting in the hottest part of the day. They walk in single file between drinking and feeding places. They tend to have territorial males, female herds and bachelor herds. Territories are maintained by challenging displays, threatening behaviours and marking of grass with the pre-orbital glands. Territorial males make use of dung heaps and at times lie on top of them to rest. Blesuck's territorial behaviour becomes less noticeable and herd structures change after mating season.

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