Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger)


Family:                Bovidae

Status:                 No special status

Size:                    Length is  8 to 10 ft (2.4 to 3 m.). Weight is 400 to 550 lbs. (180 to 250 kg.)

Diet:                    Herbivore

Characteristics:    Sociable, gregarious

Area:                  Africa

Offspring:            One calf per year

Predators:           Lions. Hyenas and leopards kill juvenile sable antelopes



            A subspecies, Hippotragus niger variani, which is a giant sable antelope, is endangered.

            The blue buck, a related species, became extinct around 1800. 



            Sable antelope live in herds of 25 to 100 antelopes. 

            They run when approached by a predator, at speeds of up to 35 mph (57 km per hour). 

            When cornered, a sable antelope will use its horns to protect itself.

            During the rainy season, the herd will break up into smaller groups. 

            Herds are made up of one adult male, several females, and their offspring. 


Physical Characteristics 

            Both males and females have stout, heavily ringed horns.

            Adult males are predominantly black, while females and juveniles are chestnut in colour.

            Their fur is short and glossy.

            Sable antelopes have a short, upright mane and a long tail with a tufted tip. 

            They need to drink daily, so they never move more than 2.5 miles (4 km) from water. 


Geographic area

            Sable antelope are found in the savanna woodlands and grasslands of southern Kenya,eastern Tanzania, Mozambique to Angola, southern Zaire and South Africa. 



            A female can begin to reproduce at two years of age.

            The gestation period ranges from 8 to 9 months.

            Birth usually occur at the end of the rainy season.

            Calves weigh 24 to 40 lbs. (13 to 18 kg) at birth.

            When they reach 5 or 6 years of age, young males leave the herd to join bachelor herds.

            Calves are weaned at six to eight months.