23 Apr 2020 • Wildlife stories
Mike documents impala on his latest early morning drive, just as their mating season begins.
Every year, as winter approaches and the air becomes colder in the morning, we hear the guttural sound of a male impala rutting.
The peak of the rut is between the full moons in May. This is when the female impala comes into season and the male testosterone is high. During this time, the males are constantly fighting, beginning with the dominant males who have protected the herds during the year.
During this time of year, the males are high in energy, as they herd the females and young, challenging dominant bachelors and mating with receptive females. This is an exhausting for the impalas and the males are usually killed by predators during May, because their attention is distracted with their focus being on fighting. I would argue that significantly more male impalas are killed than females.
In June, the craziness begins to settle down as the females rest due to pregnancy and give birth in December, just as the rain starts. It is a lovely time of the year.