BREEDING PATTERNS IN ZULULAND (NYALA)
This blog looks briefly at the identification and behaviour of the Nyala (pronounced nee-arl-a). They are commonly found on Kuleni Game Park, where Bushwillow is located.
Nyala (Tribe Tragelaphini):
How do I know I am looking at a Nyala?
Males shoulder height is 112cm. White markings on face, with band on chest and white spots on haunches, they have got a greyish-brown coat and look like they have got socks on! Females are much smaller than males and have no horns (or socks!). Their coat is reddish with white stripes.
Are they territorial?
No, both sexes live in overlapping home ranges and are not territorial. As part of a dominance display males horn and paw the ground and trash with their horns. This is when they raise the crest of hair along the back to emphasize their size, erect the tail with the whiter underpants fanned out, and lower the head to point the horns at the rival.
How long is gestation period?
Gestation period lasts for 220 days (7 months), and they breed all year-round.
What is the parent/offspring behaviour like?
Calves will stay hidden 10-18 days; we call this the lay out period, whilst the mother goes off foraging. After the calves are big and strong enough they will accompany their mother by browsing through the bush.