Thursday, 28 February 2013

Nyala at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve

Image from The White Elephant Experience

Although nyala can be found in game reserves throughout South Africa today due to translocation, the eastern part of South Africa’s riverside thickets and dense bush areas, such as those found at Plettenberg BayGame Reserve, are their natural habitat.

Nyala like to stay close to a water source and the females are usually much smaller than the males. While males have large spiralling horns with white chevroned faces, females have short horns and the males are grey while females are a reddish brown colour. Their coats are marked with attractive vertical stripes and nyala also usually carry spots on their flanks. 

Image from Jay Christopherson
Nyala graze on leaves, fruit and flowers and it is this varied diet that has successfully secured their survival for the foreseeable future. Although nyala breed throughout the year, the mating season peaks during autumn and spring. Calves are born after a gestation period of 220 days. Twins frequently occur in nyala herds although single calves are the norm.

Interesting fact:
Young nyala rams look like females. This camouflages young males and also protects them from dominant bulls that can often be aggressive. This allows young males to grow up peacefully with the protection of the herd.

Image from The Animal Files

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