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Antelope: Nyala

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Dave Heard
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Nyala - or NOT?

Unread post by Dave Heard » Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:12 pm

In May 2006 a couple of k's from Sunset Dam on the Skukuza/Lower Sabie I stopped to video some male Nyala - one of my favourites.
It was only when I returned home on going through the video I came across the "female Nyala with horns?".
I hadn't noticed it at the time as it is normal for young male Nyala to have the female's colouring in early life. But as their horns develop they also grow the long mane and under-belly of the male. Their colour changes in that process to the black/grey of the adult.
As can be seen from the photos (extracted from the video - low definition) something went a bit wrong this time.
If this has been posted by A N Other - forgive me.
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Re: Nyala - or NOT?

Unread post by amyhogge » Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:51 pm

We saw/photographed a "female nyala with horns" in November this year, between L Sabie and Nkuhlu. We only saw the front of the animal but I also assumed something had gone wrong, developmentally.



Re: Nyala - or NOT?

Unread post by Richprins » Sun Jan 25, 2009 6:47 pm

Welcome, Dave and Amy!

Yes, it seems more and more people are spotting the genetic aberration of horned female nyalas...I spotted one near Shingwedzi last year! :shock:

Check (and post) on the "Antelope: nyala" thread! :D

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Re: Nyala - or NOT?

Unread post by nighthawk2 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:12 am

It wasn't until I saw this post that I realised we had seen the female Nyala with horns during our last visit in Sept 09. We saw them around Nkulu.. I think just north of the picnic site but before the high water bridge.

We've seen Nyala along here over the last 7 years but the first of the female with horns.


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Nyala at Thulamila waterhole

Unread post by sandy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 2:29 pm

On a recent trip to paradise we spent some time at Punda camp.Late one afternoon we went to the waterhole at Thulamila and saw two Nyala behaving really strangely. They had their tails over their backs and their heads down, and were walking in REALLY slow motion in circles, one behind the other doing identical moves. Is this part of a mating ritual, was there a predator close by that they were trying to confuse? - does anyone know of this behavior. Be interesting to find out.


Re: Nyala at Thulamila waterhole

Unread post by Richprins » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:03 pm

Hallo, and welcome, sandy! :thumbs_up:

A very good question!

Yes, it is mating behaviour in the sense that the bulls posture and display by making themselves look as large and powerful as possible...bit like human males... :tongue:

Never seen them actually bashing each other, but often this ritual!

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Re: Nyala at Thulamila waterhole

Unread post by sandy » Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:43 pm

Thanks for your reply. :)

We thought it might be a mating ritual, but they didn't actually touch each other, it looked as though they were in a trance! The one at the back following the leaders steps exactly,even to the point of going under the branches of a dead tree ???
Do have photos will try and post later...

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Re: Antelope: Nyala

Unread post by G@mespotter » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:30 am

S56 Mhongolo loop, April 2010 :D (my favorite)


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Re: Antelope: Nyala

Unread post by Kamadejo » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:35 am

WOW G@mespotter, that's a beautiful male :clap: :clap:

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Re: Antelope: Nyala

Unread post by adw » Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:34 pm

This bull was photographed on the S86 (off the H1-3) in August 2008.

I have also seen 2 females on the corner of the S41 and H6 (near the Nwanedzi Picnic Spot)
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Re: Antelope: Nyala

Unread post by Richprins » Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:45 pm

DuQues wrote:They were actually seen at Orpen webcam!
This is a first time I have ever heard of them in this area, does anyone else hear of them so far from the north or south?

Thanks, Duques!

Nyala have never naturally ocurred much South of Olifants Camp in Kruger.

The southern ones along the Sabie river escaped from the adjacent Private reserves, and are doing fine!

I suspect that the Orpen bunch are a similar situation.

The other possibility is that nyala are slowly moving south along the Timbavati river, given the extended wet cycle over the last decade.

Doubt it, though, as no sightings have been made along the Southern part of said river that I know of!

adw, the Tshokwane male would probably be from the Southern bunch.

No idea about the Nwanedzi one?! :big_eyes:

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Re: Antelope: Nyala

Unread post by Wild about cats » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:29 pm

I found a Nyala at Lake Panic a year or so ago, thought it was really odd and my family and I argued about it for ages. But we all ID'd it as a nyala. Really wierd so far south.

Heike Schutze, in the book Field Guide To The Mammals of the Kruger National Park says

small population densities occur along the Sabie River and Tshokwane/ Orpen Dam area.

The distribution map doesnt include the Lake Panic area, maybe the population is spreading? :hmz:
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Re: Nyala at Thulamila waterhole

Unread post by bishop3006 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:11 pm

sandy, GREAT sighting and pics!! Since these are two bulls it is most definitely not a mating display, but a dominance display. How long did you watch this? If one is not intimidated by the other it may come to blows in the end, and that may be fatal to the loser, although it seldom is.

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Re: Nyala at Thulamila waterhole

Unread post by sandy » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:51 pm

Hi Guys,
Thanks for your comments. The first one came out of the bush and down to the waterhole, and about 10 minutes later the second one appeared and that is when this "ritual" started. We watched them for about 45 mins and then they went their separate ways and started grazing. We thought it may be a display of dominance - possibly over a female, but it turned out just to be the two of them. It was actually quite a peaceful scene - although strange - but something we havent seen before. :hmz:


Re: Antelope: Nyala

Unread post by Richprins » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:24 pm

This female with horns between Lower Sabie and Skukuza! :shock:


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