Brave antelope escapes from hunting of wild dogs

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A brave antelope dived into a hippo-infested lagoon to escape a pack of wild dogs. They were determined to eat him for breakfast.

A pack of 24 wild dogs chase male waterbuck  at sunrise.  When he made a dash for the watering hole.

Safari guide Kane Motswana watched as the young male skipped into the water before turning and lowering his horns, managing to keep the hungry dogs stuck on the bank.

Brave antelope in Botswana takes shelter from a pack of wild dogs
The antelope stands his ground against the dogs
The dogs tried several times to dislodge the buck from his position in the lagoon

The hounds made several charges in an attempt to flush the hybrid out of the water, but he held his nerve despite being surrounded by hippos, who are notoriously ill-tempered and territorial.
Eventually the dogs lost interest in their quarry and took off, at which point the hybrid emerged from the water to make his getaway.
Kane, 35, said: ‘It was early in the morning when the pack of dogs – 13 puppies and 11 adults – were hunting.
‘They found the waterbuck-lechwe hybrid and chased him into the water.
‘Both the waterbuck and the red lechwe are well adapted to the water and this hybrid, a combination of both, was a very powerful animal able to fight off the wild dogs.

Don’t back down: According to Mr Motswana the antelope was a cross between a waterbuck and a red lechwe, both of which are powerful animals at home in the water, and so was able to fend off the dogs from within the lagoon
Splashing around: A buck retreats further into the lake as the wild dogs advance, but as the water gets deeper they are forced to retreat
Run for it: Mr Motswana said the dogs nearly succeeded in dislodging the hybrid deer and he thought the animal would be killed, but each time he managed to escape

‘They did manage to push the antelope out of the water though, where they knew they would have more of an advantage, and at one stage I thought for sure they were going to be successful. But then he ran straight for the lagoon and continued fighting.
‘The waterbuck-lechwe was standing in the water in the company of hippos – a very uncomfortable spot as hippos don’t like others in their territory.

Why does a brave Antelope have horns ?

Antelopes are distinguished from other hoofed animals such as deer, pigs, and horses by having unbranched horns. The tiniest are African royal antelopes, which are about the size of a 6-pound house cat.
The topic is a well-written rebuttal to a published hypothesis that the horns on females evolved as weapons against predators, which at first glance seems like a reasonable assumption.

‘They were disturbed by the commotion of the fight and wanted the antelope out, but he bravely waited until the dogs left before he made his escape.
‘After hours of waiting on the side of the lagoon, the dogs realised their efforts were futile and decided to escape the heat.
‘I am out guiding in the field almost every single day and I have never encountered a sight so magnificent before.
‘This is definitely in my top ten safari experiences.’

Making his escape: After most of the dogs had lost interest the hybrid left the lagoon and ran for safety, dodging past the last few hunters
To freedom: The male waterbuck-lechwe cross disappears beyond the last of the hungry dogs after running out of the hippo-infested lagoon



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