An impala (Aepyceros melambpus) is a reddish-brown antelope with white hair on the under parts, the buttocks, inside the ears, over each eye on their chin with a narrow black line that runs along the middle of the lower back to the tail and a vertical black strip that appears on the back of each thigh. The impala has a unique tufts of black hair that covers a scent gland just above the heel on each hind leg. The average weight of an impala is 100 to 135 pounds and they grow to a length of 28 to 36 inches tall. The only difference between a male and a female is that the males have lyre-shaped horns that are between 18 to 37 inches long and the female has no horns.
Impalas are herbivores with a habitat of savannas and light woodlands and are able to graze and browse and therefore has a greater and more reliable food supply than animals that do either one of the other.
Depending on environmental conditions the impala’s social organization will adapt. The males are territorial and will guard females about their land when there is enough food but in dry periods they will abandon their territories and travel farther to find food.
Impala females have a gestation period of 6 to 7 months and give birth year round, but it usually coincide with the rains. A female will leave the heard and find a secluded spot to bear her fawn. If a baby impala is born at a time when there are not a lot of other young, the mother will stay in seclusion for sometimes up to a week or more before returning to the herd. If there are many other babies in the herd the mother will take her baby back in a day or two where a nursery group will form which is safer because predators (like lion, leopard, jackal and hyenas) will find it more difficult to select an individual.
An impala baby are suckled for four to six months and will reach maturity just a little over a year and they have a life span of 12 years. The young males are evicted from their mothers’ groups when they are 6 months old and then joins a bachelor group where they are very vulnerable to predators. The males only reach maturity when they are 5 to 6 years old and is not able to hold a territory until they reach this age.