Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus)
Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) are small antelope weighing between 8 and 18 kg with females weighing slightly more than males (male average: 10.6 kg; female average: 13.2 kg). The total length of klipspringers is between 75 and 115 cm with females being slightly longer than males (male average: 86.2 cm; female average: 90.5 cm). Heights of klipspringer are more variable, ranging from 43 to 51 cm. This distinctive antelope has a dark-grey bristly coat and an almost speckled appearance.
The name klipspringer comes from the Afrikaans language and describes the mammal’s ability to jump from rock to rock or its capability to climb up steep rock faces.
Klipspringers are stocky antelopes with a short neck and body, and large hindquarters, which help it jump from rock to rock. Their ears are rounded and large, and their tails are small and rudimentary. Their hoof structure is unique because the last joints of the digits are rotated so klipspringers can walk on the tips of their hooves. Walking wears down the hooves giving them a cylindrical shape, which is suitable for a lifestyle on the rocks. Klipspringers secrete pheromones from their preorbital glands, which are narrow black slits found in the corner of their eyes. The scent glands are more developed in males than females.
It has goat-like habits and is invariably found in the vicinity of Koppies or cliffs. It lives in pairs in suitable habitats in Kidepo Valley and Lake Mburo National Parks.