Sable Antelope

The Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger), is an antelope which inhabits wooded savannah in East Africa south of Kenya, and in Southern Africa. Three subspecies are recognized. The Giant Sable Antelope of central Angola is critically endangered. The Zambian Sable Antelope of central Angola and western Zambia is classified as vulnerable.

The Sable Antelope stands 47 to 55 inches at the shoulder and weigh 440 to 595 pounds, males being larger than females. Female Sable Antelope are chestnut to dark brown darkening as they mature while males are very distinctively black. Both sexes have a white underbelly, white cheeks and a white chin. They have a shaggy mane on the back of their neck. Sable antelope have ringed horns which arch backward, in females these can reach a meter, but in males they can reach over one and a half meters.

Sable Antelope live in wooded savannah where they eat mid-length grass and leaves. They are diurnal but are less active during the heat of the day. Sable Antelope form herds of ten to thirty females and calves led by a single male. Sable Antelope males will fight among themselves; they drop to their knees and use their horns.

The sable antelope was one of the national emblems of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Photo Credit: Paul Maritz