Sable back on Welgevonden!

by Samuel Davidson-Phillips

A new species, a new era..

Sable Hippotragus niger niger are large majestic antelope; an adult male can weigh up to 230kg with a shoulder height of approximately 1.35m.

Historically this species would have most likely occurred in the Waterberg region and are considered sour-veld specialists. Apparently don’t do very well with a high occurrence of large predators such as lion and leopard, which impact heavily on calf survivability due to the strategy of sable hiding their young calves individually.

Near the end of April 2014 Welgevonden Game Reserve received the first 4 of 9 sub-adult sable bulls to be re-introduced onto the Reserve. The animals were placed in a temporary holding boma to accustom them to one another and hopefully for a small bachelor herd prior to release into the Buffalo Camp.

A week later sides and gate of the temporary boma were opened and the sables were free to roam the 1000ha Buffalo Camp. Not to be, they remained within the temporary boma for the day. The following day their feed was placed just outside the boma and later that day the animals were located together close to the crib on Jenny’s Plains. The return of sable to Welgevonden Game Reserve was indeed a historic day for the Reserve thank you to Lengau Lodge for making it all possible.

The sables are being seen regularly and it is hoped they’ll provide great game viewing on Welgevonden Game Reserve.