(Hippotragus equinus) Africa, savannah regions of central and northern Africa.
Named for their “roan” coat color (a reddish brown), roan antelope have a lighter underbelly, white eyebrows, cheeks and a black face, which is lighter in females. They have a short, erect mane, a very light beard and prominent red nostrils. Their horns are ringed and can reach 3.3 feet long in males; slightly shorter in females. The horns of roan antelope grow upward and arch backwards slightly. Similar in appearance to Sable Antelope and can be confused where their ranges overlap. Sable Antelope males are darker, however, with black coats as opposed to dark brown. Roan antelope stand approximately 5 feet at the shoulder and males weigh upwards of 550 lbs.
Roan antelope are usually most active in the morning, late afternoon, and evening. Roan antelope are relatively unwary, running away from a potential source of danger for a short distance, then stopping to look back. However, when pressured, they can run up to 35 mph for considerable distances. If cornered, these antelope are formidable opponents, charging and brandishing their horns with skill. Roan antelope never move far from water (~2,5 miles, at most), and overall have localized movements, using 500-1000 acres at any given time, with a home range no more than 38 square miles throughout the year. Neighboring herds rarely share territory. Female herds are accompanied by a single adult male, who defends a wide swath around his herd against potential rivals. Young males are driven from their natal herds when they reach 2.5 years of age. Fighting for dominance is prevalent among both males and females, with the most dominant initiating herd movements. Fights occur with both animals on their “knees” (carpal joints) and are almost exclusively horn against horn. Females form harem groups of five to fifteen animals with a dominant male. Congregate with eland antelope but not its relative, the sable antelope.
Prefer grazing on mid-length grasses and will utilize leaves on rare occassions.
There does not appear to be a specific breeding season for roan antelope. Females have a gestation period of 268-280 days, where the give birth to a single young. The calf is weaned for up to 6 months. Females become sexually receptive within three weeks of giving birth, and are capable of reproducing every 10-10.5 months. A pregnant female will separate from her herd prior to giving birth, and remain with her new calf for about five days afterwards. After the female has rejoined the herd, the young calf remains concealed for five more weeks, subsequently joining a ‘creche’ with other youngsters in the herd. Roan antelope sexually mature at 2.5 to 3 years of age.
Up to 17 years.
Keeping Roan Antelope
Fencing of 6 to 8 usually adequate. Sometimes overly sensitive to noise in captivity. Relatively low survival rates in wild may be further depressed by transplanting animals to unfamiliar range. Lone bull apt to chase people. Are put at a disadvantage by competing animals with similar food habits. Long periods of dry heat are difficult on roan antelope if range becomes dry.
Roan Antelope Hunting
Expect to pay $15,000 to $20,000 for an exotic roan antelope hunt. Check out our ‘Find A Hunt’ section for featured outfitters.
Scoring Your Trophy Roan Antelope
SCI Record Book Minimums:
(N. America - Introduced)
Current Record(s) Held:
75 & 1/8 - Sallie B. Wheeler (pictured)