Suni antelope (Neotragus moschatus) - Africa's smallest antelope
Body Length: 57-62 cm
Shoulder Height: 33-38 cm
Tail Length: 8-13 cm
Weight: 4-6 kg
The general coat colour is reddish brown, with the back darker than the flanks and legs, and the head and muzzle reddish. The underparts, including the chin, throat, and insides of the legs, are white. There is a lighter ring around the eye. The legs are ringed with a black band just above the hooves. The wideset, black-coloured horns, borne only by males, are ridged for most of their length, and grow 6.5-13.3 cm long, slanting back in line with the face. The females are slightly larger and heavier than the males.
Gestation Period: About 6 months.
Young per Birth: 1
Weaning: About 2 months.
Sexual Maturity: 1-1.5 years.
Life span: Up to 10 years.
Most births occur from November to March. Slightly darker than adults, the young are kept hidden.
Habitat and activity
Dry woodland with thickets and underbrush, coastal forest and thickets, and riparian scrub and dry scrub along drainage areas are typical habitat types for suni antelope.
The suni is primarily active during the evening and night, sleeping the rest of the day in a shady, sheltered area. These shy antelope have excellent camouflage, which they use to their advantage. When danger starts to approach, the suni freezes, remaining hidden until the threat is nearly on top of them, at which point it leaps up and dodges around bushes and shrubs, quickly vanishing into the undergrowth.
Males defend territories of about 3 hectares, scent-marking the boundaries with preorbital gland secretions. On the peripheries of each defended area may be individual or communal dung piles. Each male generally associates with a single female, even if several others share his territory. Weak barking and sharp whistling have been reported.
Sightings of suni usually reveal solitary animals, pairs, or family groups consisting of a pair of animals and their offspring. They are generally thought to be monogamous animals.
Suni are browsers and feed on both fresh and fallen leaves as well as fallen and growing fruits of trees and shrubs. It is thought that suni are independent of drinking water and can obtain all necessary moisture from the food that they eat.
All predators the size of the suni and up, including cats, birds of prey and snakes.
Suni have bred well in captivity but the original number of founders was limited, causing the genetic diversity of the captive population to be low. In 1988, studies on assisted reproduction in suni led to the first successful embryo transfer of this species. Captive breeding of suni antelope is also being done in South Africa at Tygerpark Zoo in Capetown.
Efforts are being made in Zanzibar to protect the suni and other small antelope species. A release of captive-bred suni in South Africa was conducted at Kruger National Park. The most recent estimate on the total number of wild animals was 365,000 with the population considered to be stable although threatened in some regions.
: The photos from our trip! Overhere! Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c
Last edited by DuQues on Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.