If you have ever seen a sable antelope grazing in the grasslands or savanna woodlands, then you are one of the fortunate!
These incredible animals are fierce protectors and have been known to fight off predators. Not surprising, as their majestic and impressive ringed horns rise vertically and curve towards the back. Some horns can be as long as the animal itself, with the record being 154 cm. Although a blessing for the animals in a fight for dominance, exhibition, and protection, sadly, it is also a curse as they are prized in trophy hunting. Here at Mapesu, we focus on the re-introduction of native species, and the only hunting permitted is through the lens of a photo camera!
Not only are their horns a fascinating feature, so are the dark color of their fur. New-born calves are lighter in color, sandy camouflaged, and as they grow, they get darker with adult males becoming very dark brown to black in comparison to the females, which can be more reddish-brown. They run in herds between 10-30 individuals in a matriarchal social structure and with a dominant female and one adult male, bull. Once the calves mature into their teens (3-4 years), they are later kicked out and form a small bachelor herd. At 180 -270 kilos, they can live up to 16 years in the wild. They eat mostly grasses, but also munch on leaves and herbs. Their territory ranges in the southern savannas of Africa – Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia. It is believed that there are only 7,000 in South Africa.
So it was with great pleasure that we introduced a small herd of 10 sables with some even pregnant to Mapesu in May and thanks to the research programme, we have documented the pregnant female has already given birth! We invite you to discover the newest and most regal additions to the Mapesu family personally.