About the Author

Amy Attenborough

Media Team

Amy worked at Londolozi from 2014 to 2017, guiding full time before moving into the media department, where her photographic and story-telling skills shone through. Her deep love of all things wild and her spiritual connection to Africa set her writing and guiding ...

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10 Comments

on Why Do Nyala Bulls Display Instead of Fighting?

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Callum Evans
Guest contributor

I have actually seen this behaviour among a herd of nyala that I saw over 2 days in the Waterberg. It was the very beginning of the rainy season in 2016 and there were three males among the females and calves that were doing these displays. I knew what the purpose of these displays were, so it was fascinating to actually see it happen in front of me. I didn’t know that they plastered their horns with mud though, I thought only topi and tssessebe did that. Come to thinkit, almost every single animal on the planet (from giraffe-necked weevils to great white sharks and humpback whales) prefer to posture and display rather than engage in conflict (smart move).

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Interesting blog Amy. I have witnessed this behaviour before but always thought the bulls were “fighting”.

Darlene Knott
Senior Digital Ranger

I have never seen this behavior! They are such beautiful animals. Now I will be watching every male Nyala hoping he will begin the ‘dance’! He almost looks like he is stalking something in the video. Thanks so much for writing about this, Amy!

Lucie Easley
Senior Digital Ranger

The Nyala is a beautiful creature. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all conflicts could be settled with a waltz?

Amy Attenborough
Media Team

I totally agree Lucie!! Are there any other animals you think we could learn valuable lessons about peaceful resolution from?

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

That was a wonderful description of the posturing of the Nyala males. While staying at Phinda we witnessed this behavior- a 15 minute standoff between two large males whilst a few females grazed off to the side, pretending not to see what was going on.

By the way, why am I prevented from commenting after I respond to two or three blogs? I have to log in again and sometimes the logon doesn’t work. Just annoying ……

Amy Attenborough
Media Team

Hi Denise. Thanks so much for the comment! That is very strange that you’re having to log in repeatedly. I’ll look into it for you and see what we can do to help!

Kiki Aldonas
Explorer

I saw a couple of males engaged in this outside my room at Varty a month ago. I assumed they were pooping and/or in extreme pain from the way they were hunched up and their exaggerated and labored movements. Glad to know that wasn’t the case. :0)

Amy Attenborough
Media Team

Hahah Kiki! Well I’m glad that’s all cleared up for you now 🙂 What were some of your highlights from your stay here?

Judy Hayden
Explorer

That was every interesting information. Thank you. Now Lets hope that people can learn some of this, it’s better and safer not to fight, behavior. I know I’m dreaming.

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