Something we all take for granted are Impala. One of the most common antelope species seen in our area. It is really great when you still have guests who appreciate these animals and are still excited when they see them.
Impalas range between 80 and 100 centimetres tall. Average mass for a male Impala is ±55 to 75 kilograms while females weigh ±35 to 53 kilograms.
Impala can adapt to different environments by being grazers in some areas and browsers in others.
Pheromones, we all have them, from the tiniest insect right on up to whales. Impala, one of the most common and overlooked species in our bushveld, use pheromones to alert their comrades of the approach of predators, to show the other sex they are ready for mating, and to denote whether or not the territory is theirs. Meta-tarsal glands represented by the two black spots just above an Impala’s back hooves let of such pheromones. Females within a breeding herd will jump in a spectacular arc and kick out their back legs ejecting a “fear scent” so that they, their young, and the rest of the herd can quickly run from the ominous presence of lion, leopard, or cheetah. Males during rutting season will use these glands as well showing that an intruder interested in stealing females is near. Impala are the only antelope species to posse’s meta-tarsal glands as they are mostly found on deer species in America and Europe
When Impala frightened or startled the whole herd starts leaping about to confuse their predator can jump distances more than 10 metres and 3metres high. The above photo is a clear example of that.
Noelle Di Lorenzo-(Ranger Kapama River Lodge)