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Red Lechwe
Red Lechwe

Red lechwe

Family Reduncinae Kobus leche
Lechwe are water dependent and drink up to 3 times a day. They are diurnal grazers with peak activity in the early morning and late afternoon.
In areas with small herds that are sedentary lechwe males are territorial but in large herds that are highly mobile the males use a lek. Territorial males will try to keep females in their area for as long as possible when females are in oestrus. Many bulls only defend territories during the peak breading season (Jan Feb in Linyanti and March April in the Okavango) and join bachelor herd for the rest of the year but 25% of females come into oestrus in the remainder of the year and some males retain their territories throughout to mate with these cows. The calves are born after a gestation of 7,5 months and remain hidden for the first 3 weeks. Mothers will frequently move the calves after nursing. Once joining the herd the calves form a nursery herd and spend more time with the other calves than with the mothers. They wean at 6 months and young bulls will join bachelor herds after about a year.
Vocalizations: Territorial males grunt.
Lechwe have a lifespan of 12-15 years in the wild.
L3 Red Lechwe are specially adapted semi-aquatic antelope. Their adaptations include enlarged hind-quarters for additional power for thrusting through shallow water and enlarged and partially splayed hooves to give a larger surface area so the hooves do not sink into the mud. Their shaggy coat helps protect against biting insects.