More than 200 Blesbuck join the Welgevonden family

The month of May saw the introduction of over 200 Blesbuck onto the western, southern and central regions of Welgevonden Game Reserve, contributing towards the complexity of the Reserve’s biodiversity assemblage.

Blesbuck (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) originally occurred in the central part of South Africa, preferring the treeless Highveld plains and colder climates, but after the 19th century, the species was hunted to near extinction by pioneers and settlers for their meat and hides.

Blesbuck have since been reintroduced beyond their former range and, thanks to game breeding and sustainable hunting initiatives, are now one of the most abundant antelope species in South Africa.

The name ‘Blesbok’ (Afr.) comes from the Dutch term for ‘blaze’, referring to the white forehead.

The species is easily confused with its close relative, the Bontebok. While there are a number of distinctive features differentiating the species, such as different coloured rumps and lower legs, there has been a great deal of interbreeding between the two and the exact numbers of the pure strain for each species are debatable.

You can find a short video of the release our our Facebook page.