Nyala

Tragelaphus angasii

Male nyala (Tragelaphus angasii)
Amongst all antelope the nyala exhibits the greatest level of difference between the males and female of the species, this is manifested in both size and coloration. Due to their difference in size a nyala bull will eat twice as much as a female.

Conservation status : Least concern
Shoulder height : Male 1.1 m, Female 0.97 m
Weight : Male 110 kg, Female 60 kg
Life span : 15 years
Gestation : 7 months
Young : 1

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The common name originates from, inxala, the zulu word for the animal.

When a nyala bull tests the reproductive condition of a female he will do so by putting his muzzle between her legs to sniff. Whilst doing so he will often lift her hindquarters clear off the ground.

A female nyala will delay mating until the last opportunity to ensure that the most dominant bull is in attendance. She will do this by only standing for copulation in the last six hours of oestrus.

All male nyalas in an area will be ranked in order of dominance which is maintained through regular visual displays of sizing one another up. This, most of the time, prevents the need for aggression.

To demonstrate their strength nyala bulls will dig up soil by pawing the ground and thrash bushes with their horns.

Nyala do not have any specific scent glands, not even the usual glands which most antelope possess under their eyes. They therefore rely on sight and sound for communication.