The Common Impala (Aepyceros melampus) is a medium-sized antelope with shiny brown fur from eastern and southern Africa. In Afrikaans, it is known as rooibok or redbuck.
Aepyceros means high horn, and melampus means black foot. Male impala have long horns, about 45-92 centimetres (18-36 inches) long. Females do not have horns.
They have white rings around their eyes and a light chin and nose. Their ears are tipped with black fur. Black streaks run from the rear to the upper hindlegs. They have bushy white tails that are about 30 centimetres (12 inches) long.
The Common Impala can grow to 70–92 centimetres (28–36 inches).
The Common Impala is active during the day (it is diurnal). They are herd animals, although the herd is small (about 30 members).
Female impala is pregnant for 6-7 months, before giving birth to a single baby, called a calf. Calves drink their mothers’ milk for 4-6 months.
They are browsers, eating grass and plants. They live in woodlands because they like to have shade from the sun. They also like to live near water.
They are prey for cheetahs, leopards, and lions. To escape, impala leap. They can leap up to 3 metres (10 feet). They can even leap over other impala to escape a lion.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM