[Damaliscus pygargus dorcas]

The Bontebok has a shoulder height of about 36 inches on the average. The Bontebok's weight ranges from 123 to 190 pounds, with males being larger than females. The horns are S-shaped, and range from 14 to 15 inches in length, being somewhat thicker and longer in males. Coloration is dark brown with a white blaze, underparts and lower legs. They are grazers.

Location: African Savanna



The range of the bontebok is Cape Province and South Africa.


The bontebok inhabits grassland and sparsely-timbered regions.

Conservation Status
Primary Threats


Gestation in the bontebok is 7 to 8 months.


The bontebok litter is one calf.


Male bonteboks have small territories that are usually occupied for life. Groups of adult females, averaging 3 individuals, are not permanently associated with any one male, but wander from one territory to another. There are also large herds containing the young animals of both sexes. A territorial male almost always accompanies a herd, initiating and leading their movements, and keeping the members together. He approaches any that stray and runs flat out to head off escapees. Yearlings of both sexes voluntarily leave the herd during or following the calving season and join the large bachelor herds. Feeding is usually in the morning and afternoon, with resting during the middle of the day. The black-backed jackal is the only predator that coexists with the species, apart from the leopard in some reserves. This species was nearly exterminated by 1830, but several herds have been maintained on government and private preserves, and over 1,500 individuals now exist. They are classified as vulnerable by IUCN, endangered by USDI, and are on appendix 1 of CITES.


Most bontebok calves are born 8 months after mating, during a 1 or 2 month peak calving season. Females do not isolate, but calve either in small herds or on calving grounds in maternity bands, usually in the morning. Calves can stand 5 to 10 minutes after birth, walk in 15 to 20 minutes and do not seek hiding places, but follow their mothers. Calves play only briefly and infrequently.

Wild Diet

Short to medium-length high-quality grasses.

Zoo Diet




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