Blesbok Facts

Blesbok Facts
Blesbok is type of antelope that belongs to the bovid family. It can be found in South Africa. Blesbok inhabits sparsely wooded areas and grasslands on the higher altitude. These animals were hunted nearly to extinction until the 19th century. Thanks to great conservation efforts and strict hunting policies, population of blesbok managed to recover. 97% of blesboks currently resides on the private ranches, while only 3% roams freely in the wild (in national parks). Habitat destruction, lack of food (they compete for food with grazing cattle) and hunt (because of their pelt and meat) are major threats for the survival of blesbok in the wild today.
Interesting Blesbok Facts:
Blesbok can reach 34 to 40 inches in length and 121 to 176 pounds of weight. Males are slightly larger than females.
Blesbok has reddish-brown fur with flame-shaped white marking on the face. Brown stripe divides "blaze" above the eyes. Belly, inner part of buttocks, area around the tail and lower parts of legs are white colored.
Name "blesbok" originates from Afrikaans word "bles" which means "blaze". It refers to unusual white-colored marking on the face of these animals.
Blesbok has medium-sized body and short tail which ends with black tuft. Both males and females have S-shaped, spiral horns that can reach 14 to 20 inches in length. Females have more slender horns (compared to males).
Blesbok is active mostly during the morning and early afternoon (diurnal animal).
Blesbok is herbivore (plant-eater). Its diet is based on various types of grass.
Natural enemies of blesboks are cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, wild dogs, pythons and eagles.
Blesbok can run at the speed of 43 miles per hour when it needs to escape from the predators.
Blesboks migrate seasonally toward the areas rich in grass.
Blesboks live in small herds that consist of 10 to 25 animals. Mature males protect females and young animals within the group. Herd usually resides on a territory of 2.5 to 6 acres. Males use piles of dung to mark the borders of their territory.
Mating season of blesboks takes place from March to May.
Pregnancy in females lasts 7.5 to 8 months and ends with one baby. Unlike other antelopes, females give birth within the herd (babies become part of the group from the moment of birth). Most babies are born during November and December (during the rainy season), when food is abundant. Young blesboks are beige colored and have dark-colored "blaze" on the face.
Blesboks reach sexual maturity at the age of 2.5 years.
Blesbok can interbreed with closely related species of antelope called bontebok. Created hybrids are known as "bontebles". Interbreeding decreases number of genetically pure blesboks and bonteboks in the wild.
Blesbok can survive around 17 years in the wild.

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