Defassa waterbuck | Animals in Africa - Ree Park Safari

Defassa waterbuck

Animals in Africa

The Defassa waterbuck hides in the water when it is attacked by a predator. They can stay there for a long time without getting cold, because of their thick and long pelt. 

Defassa waterbuck

The waterbuck is a big African antelope with a long dark brown coat, a white snout and a white bottom. The male have long dark horns, pointing a little bit to the back. 

Waterbucks are quite common on the African savannah, south of the Sahara. The only thing they depend on are waterholes and running waters. In case of ambushing predators, the waterbuck hides in the water, which mostly is quite effective.

Defassa waterbucks are social animals that live in herds with up to 10 individuals. Normally a herd consists of females with their calves and one dominant male. However there has been seen more male bucks in one herd that help with defending the territory. The dominant male is always keeping an eye on them, since they are not allowed to mate.

They often give birth when there is a rich availability of food and grass and since they are living near the water, they'll get offspring all the year round. All though the male bucks are quite territorial, the females are looking for the best fitting partner themselves. This sometimes means they are joining other herds.

Newborn calves are hid under bushes close to the shore. The mother will always be close and protect its calve against predators. After 9 month they are ready to follow the herd independently.      



Defassa waterbuck

  • Length

    190-220 cm
  • Shoulder height

    120-130 cm
  • Weight

    160-240 kg
  • Lifespan

    Up to 18 years in captivity
  • Food


"...Did you know that Waterbucks have a habit of running into the water for safety – whereupon most predators will then give up the chase?"



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