Scientific name:
Hippotragus niger 

What makes it special:

The sable antelope is one of the largest in the antelope family. It is easily distinguished by its long ringed horns, which are sharp and inclined towards the back. They also have a unique white strips running over both sides of the nose. Their belly is distinctly white. They have a horse like built but also have some resemblance to a goat.

Recommended caliber:
A .375 H&H is a great choice to combat their aggression.

African sable - Second largest horned antelope

These majestic animals have sharp and long ringed horns - the longest horns of any antelope except the kudu. They graze in the open grasslands, take water regularly and are most often found in herds. Males (called bulls) are very aggressive when wounded, guaranteeing a challenging hunt. Both genders carry horns and they have a beautiful combination of colors with their markings being pure white.

Hunting Method

Sable antelopes are best hunted early in the morning, late in the afternoon or while going to drink water. They should be approached cautiously upwind because of their sensitivity and good sense of smell. When they stop grazing, it is an indication that they have picked a predator’s ordure. When going to drink, the males are normally at the edge of the group, but this doesn’t mean they’re easy targets. Wounded or just irritated males are aggressive and should be shot with accuracy. A .375 H&H isn’t too much when you have to stop their charge.

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Selected Sable Antelope packages

Know the animal

They have brown skin, long ringed horns that bent to the back and white marking on the face. They also have upright and distinct mane and a white belly. All sable antelopes are born with brown reddish skin but with increase in age, the color darkens and the mature males are black. The white belly and marling in the face does, however, remain unchanged.

Eastern and Southern Africa is the home of this species, which is mainly found in the savannah grassland and savannah woodlands. Their population has been reduced due to agricultural activities though a good number still remains.

Eating grass and vegetation, up to 16 hours a day is spent grazing and browsing. They also take water regularly and visit places for salt licks. They have a habit of eating bones to meet their mineral requirements. The hot sun sometimes makes them less active during the day though in cool days they graze all day long and part of the night.

Sable antelopes are prey for the big cat family and humans. Their large size makes a good meal for more than one predator. Predators don’t have it too easy since they defend themselves aggressively using their horns. An attack by the lion may lead to an aggressive counter attack that even kills in some cases. They have the ability to run long distances when perused by predators. The hyenas too predate on the young ones.

Life cycle
The gestation period is about 9 months. They are very seasonal in their breeding and deliver one young one at the beginning of the rain season. The young one remains hidden for about 10 days before it becomes active. It is breast fed for a period of eight months. They become sexually mature after two to three years.

This is a very social animal. They stay and graze in groups of between twenty and thirty. The males are very territorial and only one male is allowed in a herd. They often fight and drop to their knees to reduce fatalities. These encounters more than often leave one combatant dead. Males spend time in their bachelors groups too.

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Animal Facts

Weight and size
Weight: Up to 235 kilograms for males and 200 kilograms for females.
Shoulder height: about 140 centimeters

They are found in savannah grasslands and woodlands. The majority has been preserved in conservation parks, but they are also found in the wild.

They eat both at night and during the day. They majorly feed on middle length grass and leaves. They also lick salt and chew bones. They drink water regularly, usually at least once a day.

They are prey for the big cats. The male’s aggressive nature, however, requires a collaboration of several courageous predators. They defend themselves using their sharp horns and in many cases they end up killing their predator. 

Life cycle
16-19 years.

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