Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) or Springing Goat..
This antelope has a special meaning to most South Africans.. it used to be the emblem worn by all our sportsmen and women…
An antelope that can reach speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph), leap 4 m (13 feet) into the air and jump a distance of up to 15 m (50 feet) has to be what our sports people are all about..
It stands about 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) high. Springbok males weigh between 32 and 48 kg (71 and 110 lb.) and the females between 25 and 35 kg (55 and 77 lb.). Not that big an antelope..
When the male springbok is showing off his strength or to attract a female, or maybe to ward off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a fan shape, which in turn emits a strong scent of sweat. This ritual is known as stotting or pronking from Afrikaans meaning to boast or show off.
Rams are slightly larger than ewes, and have thicker horns; the ewes tend to have skinnier legs and longer, more frail horns.
When feeding the ewes will sometimes leave the young in a crèche.. It was while shooting one such crèche, that I noticed how long the ears are of a springbok really are.. once the horns grow it seems to be less obvious… shame, talk about “Big ears” and “Noddy”, he had nothing on these little buck…