Antelopes are prevalent in Marloth Park. They include, based on size: kudu, nyala, impalas, bushbucks, and duikers. It’s a rare occasion to witness disharmony among these animals, other than pushing and shoving when jockeying for pellets, even common among family members of the same species.
It’s been a rarity for us to see fighting among the various species of antelopes when they visit the garden. However, since Norman has become such a regular here, we’ve noticed that he gets defensive when there are the Big Daddy kudus in the garden, whether close to the house or at a distance of fewer than 30 meters, which is, by his standards, too close for comfort.
As we’ve shown in past photos, Norman fluffs up his hair to make himself appear larger and hangs his head low. We aren’t sure if dropping down his head is to add to appearing larger or if it is a form of submission. Most would assume, by watching him, that its submission.
The massive Big Daddies respond to Norman’s sign of courage and strength. They certainly don’t run off frightened by Norman, but they recoil to a certain degree. If it was submission, it would be counterintuitive to appear larger, to make the male kudu with massive horns become frightened of him.
In any case, it’s interesting to observe. Of course, we’re a little concerned they could engage in a fight which would be disastrous, and there would be nothing we could do to stop it. In some instances, in the wild, these animals have fought to the death when protecting their territory, food source, or females and family members, although from what we’ve read, it’s very rare.
As gentle animals, they aren’t explicitly looking for a fight. We proceed with caution when offering food when the other is nearby to avoid the remote possibility of an altercation.
Today, Tom observed these scenes shown in the photos while I was showering. A short time later, when I came out of the bedroom, they were both still in the garden, doing their dance of dominance, Norman more than Big Daddy.
It’s always interesting to watch the behavior of the wildlife in Marloth Park. Spending most of our daylight hours outdoors, it’s inevitable we’d often see how wildlife interact with one another. The most aggressive animals we’ve observed are warthogs who will fight with any other animal over food, territory, or mating rights. The next most often we’ve seen is zebras among themselves when vying for pellets. They will kick and bite one another to get the next morsel into their mouths.
That awful invasion of slimy black worms continued for several weeks but ended about a week ago. The older worms have morphed into annoying giant black moths, flying around inside the house and the veranda. There is no way to escape them, although they are bothersome but harmless.
All we can do is keep the exterior doors open, hoping none will get into the bedroom (we keep that door closed at all times). If we shut the exterior doors, the house’s interior gets too hot, and there’s no aircon unit on the main floor other than in the bedroom. In time, these moths will disappear, and then some other annoying insect will take over. After all, TIA, “This is Africa,” and that’s what happens here.
Photo from one year ago today, March 22, 2022: