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April 8, 2017

A Kruger Tsessebe Sighting

Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)

This image of a Tsessebe was captured in the northern section of the Kruger National Park South Africa, with a backdrop of autumn Mopani shrub-veld. I just love the shades of the Mopani trees or shrub-veld between July and September in the Kruger National Park and make an effort annually to get there during this period for photography. This image was captured in harsh light around 11:00 am, the settings used 1/250 sec at f10 and ISO 200.

Tsessebe (Damaliscus lunatus)

Also known as the Sassaby, the Tsessebe’s colouring is dark reddish-brown with a metallic sheen. The blaze on the face as well as the upper parts of the fore and hind legs down to the knees are black. below the knees the colour is light brown and it has a hump on the shoulders and the back slopes characteristically downwards.

Both sexes have horns and it differs from the Red Hartebeest because its colour is not as red and the horns shorter and more widely spaced. The females are smaller than the males.

Tsessebe are gregarious, usually found in small breeding herds, bachelor groups or family herds with a dominant male. They are generally very inquisitive and usually run away only for a short distance and then stop and look back. They are fond of horning the ground, especially after rain, they are sometimes found together with Zebra or Blue Wildebeest.

Tsessebe are primarily grazing herbivores in grasslands, open plains, and lightly wooded savannas. Tsessebe can travel up to 5 km to reach a viable water source. To avoid encounters with territorial males or females, Tsessebe usually travel along territorial borders, though it leaves them open to attacks by lions and leopards

Tsessebe are the fastest of all the regions antelope and can run at a maximum of 80 km/h.


References:

Mammals of South Africa – Burger Cillie

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_tsessebe

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