Topi – The antelope with odd tanlines

21 07 2009

Topi (Damaliscus korrigum)
Seregeti National Park – Tanzania

 
Among the most socially advanced of the ungulates, the topi (also called the sassaby) occurs in the largest numbers in southern Sudan and in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Its distribution is scattered, and populations isolated, probably because of habitat loss and hunting.

The topi is a medium-sized antelope with a striking reddish-brown to purplish-red coat. Distinct black patches appear on the face, the upper forelegs and on the hips and thighs. To complete its singular appearance, the topi’s yellowish-tan legs look like they are encased in stockings.

Although not quite as large as its relative the hartebeest (kongoni), the topi has a similar body shape. But it does not have such a long narrow head nor is it as high at the shoulder. The female is usually lighter in color than the male. Both sexes have thick, heavily ringed, lyre-shaped horns about 21 inches long. Topis have good sight and hearing and can run quite fast with a bounding gait.

They don’t really hang out in large herds but they are definitely a striking animal when you see them.  Quite the furry ears too!  Here are a few shots we took while on safari in Tanzania:

 

 

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One response

24 07 2009
hiker

Very nice pictures. Thank you for sharing the knowledge about these beautiful animals.

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