Track it Thursday: The Waterbuck

These tracks are from a group of waterbuck.

These stocky short legged antelope can weigh up to 250 kgs, with only the males boasting impressive and beautiful horns. Waterbuck are usually found in herds, close to a permanent water source due to the fact that they have to drink daily and by choice prefer the long grass that is found on floodplains. However, the water also acts as a form of protection. Should they encounter a predator, they flee into the water for safety.

Interestingly, these animals are not popular generally- in terms of prey, because they have a very distinct odour which affects the taste of their meat which puts predators off in most cases. The other safety mechanism these animals strongly rely on due to their lack of speed and endurance is their “follow me” sign. All waterbuck have a very distinct white ring on their rump, giving way to the old story of sitting on a wet toilet seat. The fable goes: they were the first animals to climb onto Noah’s Ark and were the first to use the toilet before their long journey. The newly-installed toilet seats on the Ark were still wet with paint and left a distinctive white ring for everyone to see. This marking is actually,  a fundamental necessity for the animals to survive. When fleeing from danger they can see the flash of white from the rest of the herd and follow one another to safety.

Tanda Tula Tanda Tula Tanda Tula