Female impalas form clans that can consist of 6-100 individuals. Male impalas can live in the herd until they are about 4 years old, at which point they are driven out and may join a bachelor herd. Asserting their dominance is very important to males, especially during the breeding season. A male’s dominance status is signaled by a strong-smelling secretion from the skin on his forehead. They may also challenge each other by head-tossing or showing off their S-curved horns. Female impalas give birth to a single fawn per season after a 6-7 month gestation, although she can delay the birth by up to a month if conditions are not favorable.


Aepyceros melampus

Distribution: Light woodlands and savannas in southern and eastern Africa.

Diet in the Wild: Grasses and shrubs

Diet at Caldwell Zoo: Grain, hay and varied fruits and vegetables

IUCN Red List Status: Least concern, population stable

Interesting Facts:

If an impala in a herd senses a threat, it sounds a warning bark. Upon hearing this, the entire herd will flee, with individual impalas scattering chaotically in various directions to confuse any predators attempting to prey upon them.

Impalas are great jumpers. They are able to leap horizontal distances of up to 33 ft (10 m) and can jump a vertical distance of 10 ft (3 m) into the air.

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