Tsessebe (Damalicus lunatus)
Yes - lunatus means lunatic. Fool animals that are addicted to running - even if it is in circles. They appear to suffer from a compulsion to stay fit, or have an aversion to being idle. I have watched a family of about 7 or 8 individuals loping clockwise around a cluster of trees. After maybe two minutes they swung about as one, and the rear end charlie became the leader, setting the pace for another two minutes and then swung around again. This went on for about 20 minutes and then they broke up, scattered into all wind directions and carried on grazing.
Bulls have a mass of 300+lbs and are slightly larger than cows. Both sexes grow horns, but those on bulls are heavier. When viewed from the front the horns appear typical 'half-moon' shaped. It has a dark face with purple blotches on the shoulders, whereas the withers and upper body are reddish-brown. They are grazers which utilise a wide range of grass species. They select the leaf over the stems. They prefer fresh growth, and are attracted to burnt areas.
They belong to the same family as the Wildebeest and the Hartebeest, all of whom are characterised by an ungainly appearance as a result of their shoulders being higher than the withers. Only one of the several subspecies that are recognized, occur in the South Africa subregion. In South Africa the tsessebe are confined to northern savannah woodlands, mostly the Kruger National Park and some provincial game reserves. They have also been re-introduced to some private game ranches.