Impala Facts

Impala Facts
Impala is a type of antelope that can be found only in Africa. It lives in grasslands, savannas and on the edges of woodlands in South and East Africa. Besides sufficient amount of grass, impala requires permanent water supply in its habitat. Biggest threat to survival of impalas (besides predators) is commercial hunt. Black-faced impala is one of the subspecies of impalas that is endangered as a result of over-hunting.
Interesting Impala Facts:
Impala is medium-sized antelope. It reaches 33 to 39 inches in height at the shoulder. It can weigh between 88 and 165 pounds.
Body of impala is covered with reddish or brown hair and black and white marking. Hair in ears and around eyes is white.
Males have large, lyre-shaped horns. They are usually 18 to 37 inches long.
Horns are used for defense against predators and in the fights for dominance in the herd.
Impala produces barks-like sounds to alarm other members of the herd in the case of danger.
Impala is herbivore (plant-eaters) which eats grass, herbs, shrubs and leaves on the trees. Impala also eats acacia pods and fruits.
Impala lives in herds composed of animals of only one sex. Size and type of the herd depends on the weather conditions and availability of food.
When the food sources are rich, 6 to 8 dominant males form a herd on a territory of 3 square miles. Females live in larger herds, composed of up to 50 animals. When food sources are scarce - males and females live together in a single herd. Life in the herd provides protection against predators.
Males use a scent produced in the face gland to mark their territory. They also defecate and collect dung to mark the boundaries of the territory.
Main predators of impala are lions, African hunting dogs, cheetah, leopards, hyenas and pythons.
Impala is best known by its ability to leap great distance and quickly change direction when it is chased by predators. Impala can jump 10 feet in the air and leap a distance of 33 feet when running.
Dominance during mating season is established via fights that sometimes end up fatally. Males run toward each other, colliding with their horns. Strength and body size are more important than the size of the horns.
Pregnancy lasts 7 months and ends with one baby. Female leaves the herd at the end of pregnancy and hide its baby few days after birth (when it is still very weak).
Sucking lasts between 4 and 6 months and results in fast growth of young animals. Young impala will reach maturity at age of one year. Males will leave the herd and join bachelor herds. Females will stay with their mother in the native herd.
Average lifespan of impala in the wild is 12 years.

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