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Cecil's Answer for Week 26

Q: It is a swamp antelope. It has adapted hooves that are almost twice as long as any other antelope. It is found only in small areas on just one continent. It is the only large mammal to exist on a diet of papyrus.

Answer: 'The 'Sitatunga' lives in the Okavango Delta.'

It is the 'sitatunga' of the Okavango - an elusive and shy swamp antelope inhabiting the papyrus reedbeds of the Okavango and only a few other such places in Central and East Africa.

The male sitatunga has curved horns that characterize its family of antelopes, and can weigh up to 100 kilograms (220 lb). Its extraordinarily long hooves splay out as it walks making it possible to move quickly and efficiently in the matted reedbeds and soft marshy ground of the Okavango. Sitatungas feed mainly in the early morning and evening following well-worn pathways through the papyrus and reeds to their feeding areas. They are the only large mammal to exist on a diet of papyrus, although they also feed on grass and other reeds. Young sitatungas are taken by pythons, while adults are sometimes preyed upon by lions and leopards, but their main predators are crocodiles.

 

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