Paula Gilhooley…Klipspringers in Kruger National Park

Klipspringers are tiny antelope, that are ideally suited for the rocky habitat they are found in.  Their hair which rustles when stroked, is spiny, hollow and springy adhering loosely to their skin so it is easily shed.  It helps prevent the Klipspringer from injury

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against the hard rocks and provides insulation against heat and cold.  The coloring of the Klipspringer is from golden-yellow to blackish grey of the individual hairs whose color changes along the hair shaft making the coat appear speckled.  Klipspringers move on the tips of their unique hooves, which are the consistency of very hard rubber. enabling a firm grip in their rocky habitat.

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In Southern Africa only the males have horns but further north some of the females have thin tiny horns as well.  They have a clearly visible , rounded preorbital glands immediately in fronton their eyes.   As their name suggests they make their home among the rocky Koppies, and rocky riverbeds usually near thick bush for concealment.  They are very fast and agile , leaping and bouncing up impossible rock-faces from boulder to boulder, easily eluding any pursuer.

Klipspringers are most active in the early morning and late afternoon, but in cooler weather they can sometimes be seen all dayThey are quite often solitary but can be seen in pairs, as they mate for life.  Somfullsizeoutput_1ba3etimes they form a loose association with up to six other animals.  They are territorial, actively chasing out any interlopers.  They are usually encountered standing motionless in their characteristic pose with four hooves close together surveying the countryside.

Their predators include Leopard, Caracal, Hyaena, Baboon and several large eagles.  The young are preyed upon by African /wild Cats , pythons, and monitor lizards.

 

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