Light brown Oribi antelope are often seen bouncing across the gently undulating hills of Dargle, black tails in the air. Usually they are in groups of three – one ram and two ewes, producing one offspring each year. When startled, they run off using straight-legged vertical leaps.
Adult Oribi weigh between 12 and 22 kgs, stand about 60-100cm high and are well camouflaged in the tall grass of healthy Midlands moist mist-belt grasslands which is their preferred habitat. During the rainy season, they graze on nutritious short grass and during winter they browse. They hide their young in the long grass for the first two months after birth.
Oribi are endangered by:
- habitat loss as a result of development for timber, agriculture and housing;
- fragmentation of the landscape and poor management of grasslands;
- injuries sustained after becoming trapped in fences;
- illegal hunting with dogs which is a major threat.
Bonnox fences really are walls of death. Animals cannot get through them, so when being chased by dogs (domestic or hunting) they stand no chance. If you have to fence, barbed wire is better, but you should leave off the bottom strand to enable fleeing creatures to get through easily.
There are approximately 1500 oribi left in the wild and they are listed as Threatened in the SA Red Data Book.
Report illegal hunting: SACAN Poaching hotline 083 799 1916
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