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Gemsbok / Gemsbuck / Oryx

Afrikaans name: Gemsbok

Gemsbok in the Kgaligadi Game Reserve


Photo © Johan van Zyl

Oryx gazella

Interesting facts about Gemsbok

The Gemsbok is a great looking antelope that lives in the arid regions of South Africa. Other names for the Gemsbok are Gemsbuck and Oryx.

Gemsbok are about 1.2 metres high at the shoulder. Males can weigh up to 300 kg. Females may reach a maximum weight of around 200 kg. Both male and females have horns. These horns are around 85 cm in length.

Gemsbok are found in small to medium sized herds. Herds are led by a dominant male and consist of other males, females and juveniles.

They live in arid regions and do not need to drink water on a regular basis. They eat dry gress and the leaves of thorn bushes. Where water is scarce they eat melons, tubers and succulent plants.

Females can give birth to a calf every 9 months.

Gemsbok in the Kgaligadi Game Reserve


Photo © Johan van Zyl


References and further reading

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 288

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 196

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 170

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 186

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillier - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 131

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Year Published: 1980 - Page: 118

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 416

Signs of the Wild - Author: Clive Walker - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 193

List of South African Mammals

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