The Disney Parks Blog announced the addition of a new species of antelope to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Six adult female Springboks have been added to the attraction, and per the blog they are adapting well to the new habitat.
Over 300 other animals exist on Kilimanjaro Safaris including other antelope like the addax, bontebok, bongo, patterson's eland, greater kudu, sable antelope, scimitar-horned oryx, waterbuck and white-bearded wildebeest.
Some facts about Springboks courtesy of the Blog include:
- The name “springbok” is Afrikaans and Dutch (“spring” means “jump,” and “bok” means “antelope” or “goat”).
- Springbok, which are found in southern Africa, are approximately 2.4 – 2.9 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 70 – 100 lbs.
- Male springbok are larger than females, and, although both males and females have horns, the males’ horns are thicker and longer.
- Springbok can get the water they need from the food they eat, and they can survive without drinking water through the dry season, or even for years.
- The springbok has a fold of skin that extends along the middle of its back to its tail and is lighter in color than the rest of its back. When the springbok is frightened by possible predators, the fold opens up and lifts so the lighter hair is displayed almost like a crest along the back.
- The springbok displays a behavior called “pronking.” Pronking includes springing up repeatedly with legs stiff and close together, hooves bunched together, and back arched to show off the crest. While the exact cause of this behavior is unknown, springbok exhibit this activity when they are excited.
- Springbok, as with all animals, rely heavily on their habitat for survival. Habitat destruction and over hunting threaten the species in the wild. You can help their populations from declining by supporting the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund www.disney.com/conservation and other conservation organizations that are working to protect African wildlife.