The Story Of Wild Animals:
Prong-buck Or American Antelope
Indian Black Buck
Story Of The Rhinoceros
Story Of The Musk-ox
Story Of The Giraffe
Story Of The Fox
Story Of The Seal
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( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The blessbok and the closely-allied bontebok, are smaller South African antelopes. In both species the horns are compressed, with the rings strongly marked. For a short distance they run almost parallel, and then curve backwards. Their usual length is about 15 inches. Both species are characterized by their brilliant purple-red color, and the broad white "blaze" down the face, from which the blessbok takes its name. In height the blessbok stands about 3 feet 2 inches or rather more at the withers, but the bontebok may reach from 3 feet 2 inches to 3 feet 11 inches.
The blessboks resemble the smaller springbok in manners and habits. They differ from the latter in the determined and invariable way in which they scour the plains, right in the wind's eye, and also in the manner in which they carry their noses close to the ground.
The water buck stands upwards of 4 feet or more at the withers, and has long and very coarse hair, which varies in color from reddish brown to dark gray, with an oval ring of white on the buttocks, a white gorget on the throat, a streak of the same color on part of each eye, and some white
near the muzzle. Good horns average about 28 inches along the curve. Water buck inhabit Southern and Eastern Africa to some distance north of the Zambesi; and they are never found in herds of more than twenty individuals. The water buck is most partial to steep, stony hills, and is often found at a distance of more than a mile from the nearest river, for which, however, it always makes when pursued.
The hartebeest of South Africa gets its name from its supposed likeness to a stag.
All these animals differ from wildebeests by their long and pointed heads, ending in a narrow muzzle; their ringed horns, the absence of a mane on the neck or throat, and their shorter and less thickly-haired tail.
The true hartebeest is a South African species, not ranging as far north as Matabeleland and Mashonaland. This fine animal stands about four feet at the withers; its general color being grayish brown, with a pale yellowish patch on each side of the haunches, and black markings on the forehead and nose. The hair of the face is reversed as high up as the eyes, or even to the horns. The horns are long and boldly ringed, diverging from one another in the form of a AT, with their tips directed backwards at a right angle, and the bases curved away behind the plane of the forehead. Their length varies in good specimens from 20 to 24 inches. It is one of the fastest ante-lopes in Africa, and possesses such strength as to render it almost impossible for anything under a whole pack of strong and swift hounds to bring it to bay.