No one would blame you for looking at a male and female Nyala and thinking they were completely separate species. Nyalas are known for their sexual dimorphism, which is when males and females of the same species look incredibly different. With Nyalas, both females and young animals sport a striking chestnut brown coat complete with a number of white stripes on their torso, white markings on their chest, legs and cheeks, and a bushy brown and white tail. Adult males, as well as being much larger in size, feature a dark grey, shaggy coat and large, twisted horns. Both sexes have white markings between their eyes.
These impressive animals live in loose herds that consist mainly of females and their young. Males often live solitary lives but, unlike some of their ungulate cousins, are surprisingly non-territorial and may inhabit overlapping ranges. Males and females come together all year round to mate, but peak mating occurs in autumn and spring. After a gestation period of seven months, mothers give birth to a single young who will hide in bushes and grasses for the first few weeks of its life.
You’ll find Nyala in dense bush, forest and woodland areas in south-eastern Africa, where they graze for leaves, fruits, flowers and grasses. While Nyalas are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), their natural range has drastically decreased due to habitat destruction and hunting, both for meat and as trophies.