Who is it?
A medium-sized and practically amphibious antelope, its range covers the marshy forests and swamps of much of Africa.
The most notable detail of its anatomy are its long hooves, which are widely separated at the points and adapted to a swamp-dwelling life. The sitatunga has a hunched appearance (due to its hindquarters, which are higher than their forequarters). It had long, thin legs, a short tail which has a black tip and is whitish at the edges. There is marked sexual dimorphism between males and females. As regards its fur, it is long and greasy; a matted brown colour with white touches or reddish brown with stripes, depending on whether it is male or female.
What are its habits?
This antelope can spend hours in the water, submerged or swimmer; in fact, it’s an excellent swimmer.
Solitary and timid, it usually remains unnoticed thanks to its fur, which offers it camouflage.
Reproduction takes place throughout the year; the female gives birth, generally to only one fawn. The fawn is suckled until it is six months old and reaches sexual maturity at one year, if female. The males mature later, at the age of two-and-a-half years at the most.
They feed on shoots, leaves, stalks, fruit and aquatic plants at night. During the day they remain under bushes to rest.
Did you know…
The water protects the sitatunga from dangers, but not always: when it submerges itself it risks being attacked by a crocodile.