The Kob is a broad and sturdily built small antelope with strong legs and is commonly found in savannah plains in Africa and in Uganda as well. It is one of the Uganda Wildlife Species that can not be missed while on a Uganda Safaris Tour. The Kob is not related to the Impala but strongly looks like an Impala and it can easily be confused with an Impala. The Kob has darker coasts and the males have horns, thick necks and protruding muscles; the females are slender and hornless. Like most animals, the males are heavier than females. The 3 species of the Kob are the white-eared Kob, the western Kob and the Uganda Kob and these different Species are spread across Africa in Senegal, Ethiopia, DRC, and Uganda. Uganda mainly has the Uganda Kob.
The Kobs are herbivores and live in areas with a consistent climate, open flat grasslands and near water because they need water every day. These areas are not wetlands though; the Kob doesn’t stay in wetlands.
Though they are small animals the kobs normally keep in the company of bigger animals in size like hippos, buffalos, hartebeests, e.t.c and wildlife scholars suggest that it’s because these big animals help keep the grass short as short grass is preferred by the kob. The kob needs fresh grazing and During the rainy season, the kobs live in the dry grounds with short grass and move to wet tall grasses during the dry seasons plus of course they keep close to water sources because they need water every day.
Females are more social than the males and live in herds of thousand kobs; females are also at the lead of all water movements within the herd and in large herds, females take their signals for other females and the males also follow the females as they move. The males who are in male-only herds most times accompany females as they move for water.
They live in herbs of 40 animals or more, some are for territorial males only and others are mixed herds of females and young males. The size of the herd is determined by a number of factors that include pasture availability for feeding, water source, and predator presence. Old males or non-breeding males make their own male territories away from the larger herds.
kob herds are not solid they frequently change in structure and size as conditions change and as the herds move across vegetation; in areas where the Kobs are in high numbers, you will find about 3 or more male territorial herds and other bunches of loosely connected herds.
In large populations, the kobs make a lek mating structure with females only visiting breeding grounds to mate with the male and living in herds a few metres away from the breeding grounds. The males have small territorial herds within the breeding grounds.
When the males see the females on the heat they are attracted to them and they will pursue the females with Urine marks that have high estrogen levels to attract especially to attract the females. The females are pregnant for 8 months and when they give birth they hide their calves for six weeks. Calving is normally at the end of the rainy season and when a young one is born, they feed on the mother up to 6 or 7 months when they are weaned. When they are still young they will learn where to go from their mothers and at 7 months they are almost half the size of adult kob and move around on their own. The males develop horns at 5 months and females are hornless; the males don’t start breeding until they are four years of age but the females will be sexually mature at 2 years.
When in low numbers the adult males form territories around the females and their calves and they don’t move around, the older males find any best habitat away for them and form a territory there. Young males in bachelor herds are normally separated from females by the territorial adult males, however, if they overpower the territorial males they can easily take over the territory.
When the kob is being pursued by predators, they normally hide in the nearby water body; in most cases, their predators are not water adapted so they turn away.
The Uganda kob is golden or reddish-brown with a throat patch, white inner ears, black forelegs, and an eye-ring. This Kob is used on the Uganda cost of arms with Uganda Crane as an emblem to show the diverse wildlife in the country and the Uganda Kob is found in large numbers in Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison National Park.