Gemsbok or Gemsbuck…

The Gemsbok (Oryx gazella).

It is a large antelope in the Oryx genus. It is native to the arid regions of Southern Africa, such as the Kalahari Desert. The current gemsbok population in South Africa is estimated at 373,000.

The name “gemsbok” in English is derived from Afrikaans gemsbok, which itself is derived from the Dutch name of the male chamois, gemsbok.

Gemsbok are the largest species in the Oryx genus. They stand about 1.2 m (3.9 ft.) at the shoulder. The body length can vary from 190 to 240 cm (75 to 94 in) and the tail measures 45 to 90 cm (18 to 35 in). Male Gemsbok can weigh between 220 and 300 kg (490 and 660 lb.), while females weigh 100–210 kg (220–460 lb.).

Gemsbok are widely hunted for their spectacular horns that average 85 cm (33 in) in length. From a distance, the only outward difference between males and females is their horns, and many hunters mistake females for males each year. In males, these horns are perfectly straight, extending from the base of the skull to a slight outward and rearward angle. Females have longer, thinner horns with a slight outward and rearward curve in addition to their angle. But don’t always believe what you read…..

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Female gemsbok use their horns to defend themselves and their offspring from predators, while males primarily use their horns to defend their territories from other males.

Gemsbok live in herds of about 10-40 animals, which consist of a dominant male, a few non-dominant males, and females. They are mainly desert-dwelling and do not depend on drinking to supply their physiological water needs. They can reach running speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph).

In 1969, the New Mexico State Department of Game and Fish decided to introduce gemsbok to the Tularosa Basin in the United States.

Forget those ones…. here are some from the Park named after them.. The Kalahari Gemsbok Park….

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47 thoughts on “Gemsbok or Gemsbuck…

  1. These are such amazing animals! They are just stunning and incredible….if this is what you do when your vision isn’t perfect, what the heck are we going to see when you ‘SEE’ better???

  2. Thank you for delicately pointing out the male! LOL 😀 These are beautiful creatures. I really wish people wouldn’t hunt them (I just don’t understand the reasons behind hunting – other than the indigenous tribes hunting for food)…

    • The point out was necessary, as the horns on that bull are the shape of a females horns… makes a difficult selection when far off… I agree why hunt such a beautiful antelope… but then the farmers of wild animals need the income… and the Americans are paying approx $2500 for one that converts to R 22 500 a lot of money…

  3. Stunning …. those horns !!!! And the patterns on them – some stunning animal. And well hanged too *smile
    There is no really difference between male and female – they look the same. Beautiful animal.

  4. They sure have beautiful markings. Looks like they’d be a meaty game animal if there were enough of them to support hunting, but I think there’s probably too much of that already, out of control, over your way. I’m not against hunting at all, but I’m definitely for conservation first.

    • The only thing that will hunt these are the lion… outside the Park I’m afraid the money involved is enormous.. The American hunters pay big money to shoot in Africa… can’t blame the land owners for wanting to make a living… Me I would prefer the camera to the gun… did shoot when I was younger but not interested now…

  5. Wonderful photos again. They are such magnificent creatures, and those horns are awesome weapons for sure. 🙂 That running speed is amazing! Thanks for the red circle, or I would never have known. 😆

  6. Here in the Kalahari where these guys come from, we actually have hunters with Ford F250’s who drive up next to them while they are running, and then they catch them by the long horns…. several of these “catchers” have lost their legs due to these horns that stick right through the metal doors, and into the drivers leg….while driving….

    • Now there’s a comment from one that knows the beauty of these antelope… and to the hunters with the horn through the leg… good, you should leave them to beautify our world… Thanks Son for the comment… now my blog is really blessed…

  7. Stunning and look so well fed too, beautiful shots. Interesting about the horns and speed, good grief, who could imagine them speeding along the speed of a car, wow!

    • There condition is stunning for such a barren area… and I do believe a few Lion have met their match at the point of those horns… but at that speed I’m not sure a Lion would keep up…

  8. Great photos, why would New Mexico want to introduce a non-native specie there? This never seems to work and always a bad idea. These are attractive animals and those horns are very regal!

    • I agree john.. and they take them away from their natural predators so they start to loose a bit of their natural ways… The introduction was a compromise between those who wanted to preserve nature and those who wanted to use it for profit and promotion. Ninety-three were released from 1969 to 1977, with the current population estimated to be around 3,000 specimens.
      This I found on the internet..

    • I agree with you.. everything we have in the animal world is exotic looking.. that’s what keeps me interested… I love these animals have have more than 200 photos of them… and they are all beautiful…

  9. Ok, you got me laughing again – love how you circled parts to clarify for us LOL!!! These are really beautiful creatures. It’s kind of like they are a combination of a horse, a cow, and a zebra, with the huge horns thrown in for good measure. They certainly have great modelling skills too :).

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