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Waterbuck Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Kobus ellipsiprymnus
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Artiodactyla
  • Range

    Waterbucks can be found from Kenya to South Africa, west of the Rift Valley. 

  • Habitat

    These foragers occupy savannas, woodlands and grasslands with a permanent water source.

  • Niche

    Waterbucks eat a variety of protein-rich grasses. When grass is sparse, they will eat herbs. They are preyed upon by crocodiles and cheetahs. 

  • Life History

    Waterbucks are diurnal (active during the day). While males are usually solitary except during breeding periods, females gather in herds that can reach into the hundreds. Usually one calf is born at a time. 

  • Special Adaptations

    One useful adaption waterbucks have to their wet lifestyle is the pungent, oily secretion in their coats serves as waterproofing.

    As their name implies, waterbucks are reliant on water—they get dehydrated more easily than other antelope species and they escape predators by running into rivers or lakes. As such, waterbucks’ territory in the wild is limited to areas within a few miles of water. 

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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