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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

Klipspringers: The African Rock Jumpers

2021-01-15
Language:English
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I am an agile and ardent rock-climbing antelope and have been told that my special species is one of South Africa’s favorite animals. We prefer to live among rocky hills, outcrops, koppies, also known as small hills, or gorges with steep rocky sides. These all provide excellent shelter for our families. We klipspringers reach a height of 43-60 centimeters, with males being taller than the females. Our weight is between 8 and 18 kilograms and our hindquarters are super strong and stocky. We have a short neck and a vestigial tail. Possibly the world’s highest jumping champion, we can leap as high as eight meters in the air in spite of our dainty size. Known as “African ballerinas,” we have a unique gait. We walk on the tips of our hoofs as though we are dancing on tiptoes! Our cylinder-like hooves have long, narrow soles and blunt tips as small as a dime. The last joints of the digits are rotated to allow us to walk as we do. There is a rubbery center in the middle of our hooves to assist us with gripping or finding a foothold as we stand on cliffs.

Our species is mostly nocturnal. We are active at night and rest during the warmer hours of the day. When the moon shines brightly in the sky, we klipspringers begin to forage around for food. I am proud to say we are vegan. We eat only vegetation. Berries, flowers, fruit, seeds, and leaves are our favorites. We even know how to find water when scarce by eating succulent plants and licking rocks. I really love that our species is so loyal to one another. Did you know that we only choose one partner in our whole lifetime? Now that’s what I call a marriage of true commitment! According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), we are classified in the category of “least concern.” It means that we currently do not face any danger of extinction. It’s so great to learn that our species is still thriving in the wild. We are grateful that the Heavens have blessed us!

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