Ranger Reflections by Dean Wilkinson

by jabulani

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Winter is here in the bush and with it comes one of the more exciting times of the year, The Rut.

This is when it’s the impala’s time to shine.

As the mating season approaches, the testosterone in the males’ increases and they have to prove to the females who is the biggest and strongest of them all. The males run around challenging each other with a gurgling roar, which is often mistaken for a lion or some other predator, trying to establish a territory where they can accumulate females.

Quite interestingly, it is because of this rut that Impala are so successful. By fighting off all the weaker males, the victor gets to reproduce with the females, ensuring that only the strongest genes are passed down the line.

During this time the males lose a lot of their body condition because they are too busy fending off the other males and herding the females. This gives the larger predators a greater chance of getting a meal.

We love this time of year – getting to witness this unique behaviour – and will be sitting beside the Impala show with cameras at the ready.

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