Impala Antics

19th May 2013
Testosterone levels in mammals are always highest in the early morning (and after a successful contest with another male of course!) so we often watch interesting behaviour between male impala during the rutting season. This male was parading around his patch, showing off to the females and making his presence known to other males. The flared tail is a giveaway signal that he feels dominant in his area.

After some time, another male approached him and they sized each other up, neither wanting to commit to a fight too early on in the encounter.

Eventually, one male began to run off but the incumbent male was sure to pursue him and ensure that he left his territory. I was following to see what might happen if they crossed the boundary to another territory....and soon found out. At an unknown distance, the fleeing impala turned and engaged in a fairly prolonged bout of fighting. There was lots of snorting and groaning, and even though there was a screen of grass between me and the action, their eyes tell the story.

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