Sitatunga – Tragelaphus spekeii

Sitatunga – Tragelaphus spekeii

Sitatunga – Tragelaphus spekeii

The sitatunga, also called marshbuck, is an antelope that look puny.

It usually measures between 1m40 and 1m50 long. The male has a shoulder height of 1m to 1.20m, the female 80 to 90cm. The weight of the female is between 45 and 65kg, the male, more imposing, weighs 90 and 120 kg. The hard and long hair dress of the male is dark brown while that of the female is reddish. Males also have a fine mane and horns up to 90cm. Their hooves, long and thin, are ideal for wetlands.

Sitatungas are excellent swimmers and can reach into the water a speed of 80km/h. They are considered to be the most aquatic antelope, where they hold their second name: marshbuck. Nevertheless, they are less efficient on dry ground, that is why they are particularly concerned by predators such as lion, hyena or leopard.

We find the sitatunga throughout Central Africa, East and West, especially in Congo, Botswana, Zambia and Kenya. It frequents marshy and wet areas, islands and the African tropical forests where this herbivore ruminant finds its food, consisting mainly of leaves, twigs, grass, aquatic plants and fruits. This is a rather common animal and is a minor and concern about its protection.

The Sitatunga is a placental and cétartiodactyle mamal, that means that it has an even number of fingers.

Sexual maturity is generally reached at the age of one year to the female and half a year for males. There are no particular mating season, they can take place throughout the year. After about eight months of gestation period, the female usually gives birth to a single calf, but it can happen that two emerg.

Their maximum life expectancy is estimated at 19 years.


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