Facts About Black Buck Antelope
Black buck antelopes are beautiful and graceful creatures that live mainly in India. While they were not indigenous to the United States, herds have been introduced, mainly in Texas where they are bred and sold and used for hunting expeditions.
Black buck antelope, which weigh between 70 and 85 pounds at maturity, are vegetarians and exist mostly on grass and shoots.
Here are some other quick facts about black buck antelope.
- They are among the fastest animals on earth. They can reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.
- The lifespan of a black buck antelope is between 12 and 16 years.
- They were once abundant in their natural habitat, but due to a combination of habitat loss and sport hunting, the numbers in their native India have dwindled considerably. The animal is on the “near threatened” list.
- In India, these creatures were once kept in captivity and then forced to fight to the death.
- Most antelopes eat at night, but black buck antelope do their grazing during the daylight hours.
- The ringed horns of the male black buck antelope sport a bit of a spiral twist.
- Females do not usually have horns.
- While spring is primetime for breeding, mating may occur at any time throughout the year.
- Females give birth to one fawn which then becomes part of the mother’s group
- Males are protective of their territory and will typically not allow other males to graze in their area. They will, however, allow females from other groups to graze.
While the introduced populations in Texas are thriving in numbers, many of them are bred simply for the purpose of later being used in staged ranch hunts. The rancher accepts money from men and women who want to hunt this animal and some promise a money back guarantee if they do not kill one. Some have an ethical problem with this type of “hunting” as it is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. The black buck antelope are contained within certain acreage so many, including many hunters, look at this type of hunting as a form of cheating. As mentioned earlier, loss of habitat and hunting have greatly reduced their numbers in India. Their natural predators include wolves and wild dogs. They have very keen eyesight and, as mentioned above, are among the fastest animals on earth. This helps some of them avoid being taken by predators. They live in groups of about 20 animals. Some of the groups have both male and females, while other groups include only males. If you saw a black buck when it was born, you may wonder how they got their name. That is because the animals are born a light brown color. The males, however, get darker as they mature, and it is from those dark coats that these antelope got their name.
While it is interesting to learn the many facts about black buck antelope, one thing is certain: It is important that steps are taken to ensure that this beautiful creature does not become extinct.