The Kafue Lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the antelope family of waterbucks. It is a sub-species of the Southern Lechwe.
The Kafue Lechwe has golden-brown fur with a white underbelly. The male is darker than the female. The male has long, spiral horns, similar in shape to a lyre musical instrument. The female does not have horns. Its hind (back) legs are longer than other antelope legs. It is adapted to long-distance running. It has large ears with black markings.
It grows to 90-100 centimetres (35-39 inches) at shoulder height.
The Kafue Lechwe is native to the Kafue Flats in Zambia, Africa. It prefers wetlands, such as marshes.
It is diurnal, active during the day.
It eats aquatic plants. Its legs have waterproof fur for wading in knee-deep water to feed on plants.
The Kafue Lechwe is seen in herds of many thousands of individuals. They gather in separate herds – male herds and female herds. The herds mix during mating season.
The female is pregnant for about 240 days, before giving birth to one live young, called a calf. The mother hides her calf in tall grass.
The Kafue Lechwe lives, on average, for about 20 years.
[Location of photographs: Berlin Zoo, Germany]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM