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Mammals of Southern Africa

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The "Big 5": Lion LeopardElephant Buffalo Rhino

A Guide to the: Cape Grysbok - Raphicerus melanotis

The Cape Grysbok is a secretive and solitary animal, which is partial to the shoots and leaves of vines, and steals out under cover of darkness to feast on this rich food. They are found as far west as the Cedarberg Mountains and as far east as the Eastern Cape. They are relatively more active at night than during the day, and are predominantly browsers. Grysbok lack the grace and proud posture of the steenbok: the grysbok has a thickset body, and fragile, short legs. The forelegs are a little shorter than the hind legs, causing its back to slope. The grysbok spends a lot of time washing and grooming its thick, wiry coat. If it feels threatened, it may lie flat on the ground and then speed away, keeping its head low. Grysbok have small territories and can usually be seen on their own, in pairs during the mating season, or in small family groups. A single lamb is born, usually in spring. The lamb is born with a darker coat than its parents and is kept hidden for the first few months until it can fend for itself.

More facts about Cape Grysbok

Addo Elephant National Park
Bontebok National Park
Langebaan National Park
Wildeness National Park

Learn more about the mammal species of Southern Africa with Wildlife Campus. This includes in-depth information about habitat, spoor, droppings, ecology...

Wildlife Campus offers many courses including: Field Guide Courses (FGASA); Game Ranging; Wildlife Management; Photography; Astronomy...

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