The Endearing Steenbok.

The Steenbok is probably the cutest little buck you will see in the Kruger National Park. The model in this post is a ram. Note the sweet little horns. I came upon him while he was scraping the hard ground with his hoof, he was possibly trying to get at the shoots or bulbs underground.

He was keeping a close eye on me, looking up often.

And then he would continue scratching the ground. He was not making much progress in the sunbaked sand.

You can see the effects of the hot and dry savanna in this pic. These solitary buck prefer savanna with some bush as protection from predators. They weigh a mere 9 to 13 kg, and I don’t think they stand much chance against their predators, like lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, eagles, etc.

Just as well, the Steenbok is not water dependent, and can get enough moisture out of the food they eat. They will drink water when it’s available. They eat leaves, shoots, bulbs, seeds, and wild fruits. I find it strange that they seldom eat grass!

This pic, which I took on another occasion shows just how green the KNP can change once the rains come. This female is relaxing in the lush grass.


INTERESTING
Steenbok scrape a hole in the ground where they bury their dung.  They defecate and urinate in the small hollow and then rake over it with their front hooves. (Sounds like something a cat does!)  

The bushveld is my favourite place in the world! The sun is merciless. Drought and fire destroy the flora and fauna. It is survival of the fittest however, just a little rain can turn the bushveld into the lushest green in no time at all! 


Copyright © Caroline Street Art/Poetry/Photography.

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