Our Resident Bushbuckon May 2, 2012
In December we were very surprised to see a bushbuck on the grounds of the Falls Resort. Where on earth did he come from? We had no idea. Since December we have been trying hard to get a photograph of him for our ‘Rogues Gallery’ but all attempts failed until last week, when we managed to snap him grazing in the grounds.
Bushbucks are antelopes about the size of an impala. They are usually solitary and very shy. They have acute senses of sight and hearing; whenever they see or hear something unfamiliar they will dart into the bushes and hide. Their brown coats have some narrow white stripes and small spots which give them excellent camouflage. We still have no idea where he came from as the grounds are protected by an electric fence. He may have come through it somehow. I have been told that bushbucks will get through a fence by taking a mad rush and diving through the wires. Perhaps he did that or he just wandered in through the main entrance! Alternatively, as bushbucks are excellent swimmers, he may have decided to emigrate from Zimbabwe by swimming the river in November when the water is quite low. Or perhaps he just wandered in from our park, although bushbucks have not been seen in the area for a while. Whatever the case he has now found a home with lots to eat and friendly impala, zebra and giraffe for company.
Of course, our bushbuck’s visit was caused by natural instincts, and it is likely that he was looking for a mate. He is still young with small horns, but he will want a girlfriend soon. I expect we will have to find him one from a wildlife farm. We have several farmers in the southern region of Zambia who have put parts of their farm aside exclusively for use by wild animals. Let’s hope we can find our bushbuck a friend; we don’t want to lose him. He is far too special, and clearly loves the lush vegetation on the Falls Resort!