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Blackbuck Antelope

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Scientific name: Antilope cervicapra

Other common names: Indian antelope; Krishna Jinka

The basics:
The Blackbuck Antelope is a species of antelope which is native to open woodlands, semi-desert areas and dry deciduous forests in India, southern Nepal and Pakistan. It has also been introduced in Texas and Argentina.

The Blackbuck Antelope is one of the fastest of all terrestrial animals, able to reach to speeds of up to 80 km/h.

Appearance / health:
The Blackbuck Antelope is one of the few antelopes where males and females have distinctive coloration, as the male bucks are a distinctive black and white and have long twisted horns, while females are fawn colored with no horns.

Adult bucks stand approximately 73.7 - 83.8cm at the shoulder and on average have a head and body length of 120cm. The blackbuck is one of the few antelope whose color differs between sexes. The males are rich dark brown above, on the sides, and on the outside of the legs. Females tend to be yellowish in the same areas. Both sexes exhibit white underparts and insides of the legs, and a prominent white circular patch around the eye. Also, males gradually become darker with age.

Blackbucks have a graceful and slender built. The horns are borne only by males and range from 50 - 61 cm; they are ringed at the base and twist spirally up to approxiamtely 4 turns. The narrow muzzle is sheeplike, the tail is short, and the hooves are delicate and sharply pointed.Blackbucks are gregarious and social animals with herds generally ranging from 5 to 50 animals. The herds are harems, with a single adult male and a number of adult females and their young. They tend to be diurnal during the cool season. In the hot season, they are active in the very early morning and late afternoon, resting in the shade at other times. Because of past persecutions, blackbuck are very shy and wary. Their sense of smell and hearing are not highly developed so they rely on eyesight in detecting danger. When in danger, a single animal bounds in the air and is soon followed by the rest of the herd. These animals have great speed and endurance; when in danger they can maintain a gallop with a speed of 40mi/hr for approximately 15 miles. They are usually silent, but sometimes females give a hissing noise that warns the herd of danger.

Behavior / temperament:
Blackbucks are gregarious and social animals with herds generally ranging from 5 to 50 animals. The herds are harems, with a single adult male and a number of adult females and their young. They tend to be diurnal during the cool season. In the hot season, they are active in the very early morning and late afternoon, resting in the shade at other times. Because of past persecutions, blackbuck are very shy and wary. Their sense of smell and hearing are not highly developed so they rely on eyesight in detecting danger. When in danger, a single animal bounds in the air and is soon followed by the rest of the herd. These animals have great speed and endurance; when in danger they can maintain a gallop with a speed of 40mi/hr for approximately 15 miles. They are usually silent, but sometimes females give a hissing noise that warns the herd of danger.

Housing / diet:
The diet of the Blackbuck consists mostly of grasses, although it does eat pods, flowers and fruits to supplement its diet.

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