Sitatunga Facts

Sitatunga Facts
Sitatunga is medium-sized antelope that belongs to the bovid family. It can be found in central, eastern and western parts of Africa. Sitatunga inhabits swamps, wet savannas and forests. Habitat destruction and uncontrolled hunting of sitatungas (because of their meat and horns) are the major threats for the survival of these animals in the wild. Sitatungas are rare only in the western Africa. They are numerous and widespread in other parts of their range (they are not on the list of endangered species).
Interesting Sitatunga Facts:
Sitatunga can reach 45 to 69 inches in length, 30 to 50 inches in height and 110 to 275 pounds of weight. Males are significantly larger than females.
Sitatunga has long, oily (water-repellent) coat that can be grayish-brown (males) or reddish-brown (females) colored. White markings cover the face, throat and thighs. 6 to 8 white vertical stripes can be seen on the lateral sides of the body.
Sitatunga has slim face, slender neck, long legs and short tail. Well-developed, high hindquarters are responsible for the hunched appearance of sitatunga.
Males have long, twisted horns that can reach 35 inches in length. They also have mane on the neck and back.
Sitatunga is mostly active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular animal).
Sitatunga is herbivore (plant-eater). Its diet is based on bulrushes and sedges and occasionally on leaves, fruit and bark.
Sitatunga is semi-aquatic animal. It is equally well adapted to the life on the solid ground and in the water. Sitatunga is excellent swimmer.
Sitatunga has elongated, splayed hooves which facilitate movement across the muddy and watery soil. Thanks to unusual morphology of hooves, sitatunga is clumsy on the firm ground.
Sitatunga rests on the platforms made of finely compressed and crashed (trampled) dry vegetation, reed and grass.
When it needs to escape from predators, sitatunga hides in the water (with only nostrils exposed).
Natural enemies of sitatungas are pythons, crocodiles, lions, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas and humans.
Sitatunga has very small home range because it lives in swamps which provide plenty of food all year round. Males are usually solitary, while females live in small groups. Pairs of sitatunga can be seen only during the breeding season. Sitatungas communicate via barking, sneezing and squeaking sounds.
Pregnancy in females lasts 7.5 to 8 months and ends with one baby (fawn). Female gives birth and takes care of baby on the small, dry islands and mounds in the swamp.
Baby depends on the mother's milk until the age of 6 months. Young sitatunga is ready for the independent life shortly after weaning. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 1 to 2 years, males at the age of 2 to 2.5 years.
Sitatunga can survive 19 years in the captivity and 20 to 22 years in the wild.

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