Nyala Facts

Nyala Facts
Nyala is a type of antelope that belongs to the bovid family. It can be found in the southern parts of Africa. Nyala inhabits dry savannas and dense woodlands. It prefers areas that provide permanent supply of water and fresh grass. Habitat loss, lack of food (due to competition for food with cattle) and viral diseases are major threats for the survival of nyalas in the wild. Luckily, their population is still large and stable. Nyala is not on the list of endangered animals.
Interesting Nyala Facts:
Nyala can reach 4.5 to 5.25 feet in length and 120 to 280 pounds of weight. Males are much larger than females.
Males can be recognized by coarse, dark grey coat and pale stripes on the torso. They have yellow-colored legs, black mane on the backs and long hairs that stretch from the chin to the front legs. Females and young animals are red-brown colored. They have 10 or more prominent white stripes on the lateral sides of the body. Both males and females have V-shaped white markings between the eyes.
Nyala has long ears and excellent sense of hearing. Eyesight is poor, despite large eyes.
Males are equipped with 28 inches long, spiral curled, yellow-tipped horns.
Nyala eats early in the morning and late in the evening. It rests in the shade during the hottest part of day.
Nyala is a herbivore (plant-eater). Its diet is based on grass, leaves, twigs, fruit and flowers.
Females live in groups composed of 2 to 30 animals. Younger males gather in small, loose groups. Old males usually live solitary life.
Nyalas are not territorial animals. Territories of male and female groups often overlap without any conflicts.
Nyala produces dog-like, barking sound to alert other members of the group about upcoming danger. Nyala also relies on the alarm calls produced by baboons, impala and kudu to avoid predators.
Natural enemies of nyalas are lions, hyenas, leopards and African wild dogs.
Mating season of nyalas takes place during the spring and autumn, when food is abundant.
Males compete with each other to establish dominance and get opportunity to mate. They often violently thrash bushes and dig and toss the soil to intimidate competitors before the fight.
Pregnancy in females lasts 7 months and ends with one baby (calf). Baby remains hidden in dense thicket during the first two or three weeks. Young animal depends on the mother's milk until the age of 7 months, but it usually stays close to the mother until the arrival of next baby.
Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 11 to 12 months, males few months later, at the age of 18 months.
Nyala can survive up to 16 years in the wild.

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