Digging Steenbok

When Luke Street came upon this track he knew it was an absolute must for our “Track-It Thursday” series. You may not have known that the steenbok, is the second smallest antelope in South Africa.

Steenbok bury their urine and dung. A really bizarre and interesting activity, but even more special, was finding actual evidence of this survival mechanism. It is believed that steenbok take this precautionary measure in order to hide their scent from predators. The steenbok uses it’s front hooves to dig a small hole in the ground and then leaves a deposit after which it covers the area up using it’s front hooves again. This can be very clearly seen in the track picture.

The steenbok prefers to consume leaves, flowers, fruits and shoot tips from various plant. The ability to exist independently from water is based on the kinds of foods they consume ie. whether their foods have high moisture content.

They have excellent hearing and are known to scavenge from carcasses when a shortage of food occurs.

Gestation has been recorded to take place all year round after which a single lamb will be born. In order to conceal her young's existence, the mother will eat her lamb's faeces and drink it's urine, to keep the area relatively odour free. The things a mother will do for their young.