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Nyala

CONSERVATION STATUS : LEAST CONCERN
COMMON EXTINCT
Classification:

Order: Cetartiodactyla
Genus & Species: Tragelaphus angasii 
Family: Bovidae

Range:

South-eastern Africa; mainly southern Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and eastern South Africa. They have been reintroduced into Swaziland and introduced in Botswana and Namibia.

Habitat:

Nyala inhabit dense lowland woodlands and thickets.

Activity:

Activity changes depending on habitat. Nyala are predominantly active in early morning and late afternoon in optimal habitats, but they become nocturnal in areas with increased human interference or in marginal habitats. They are also more active at night during the rainy season.

Size:

Males: 215-275 pounds, up to 3.5 feet high at the shoulder, and about 5.25 feet in length.

Females: 120-150 pounds, up to 3 feet high at the shoulder, and about 4.5 feet in length.

Longevity:

Approximately 16 years in the wild and 18 years in human care.

Description:

Nyalas are the most sexually dimorphic of the spiral-horned antelope. Male nyala have a dark grey colored head and body with vertical stripes along their torso that will fade slightly as they age. Their lower legs are tan and they have a fringe of hair along their underside and a thin crest on their back. Mature males have horns that measure between 24-33 inches in length and a white chevron between their eyes. Female and juvenile nyala are reddish-brown in color and have distinctive, vertical white stripes along their body. They lack horns, but they have a white chevron between their eyes.

Ecology, Adaptations, Etc:

Nyala are alert and wary by nature. Nyala, especially females, use a sharp, high, dog-like bark to warn others in a group about danger. They also react to the alarm calls of impala, baboon and kudu. The main predators of nyala are lions, leopards and African wild dogs. Juvenile nyala may also fall victim to baboons and raptorial birds.