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James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on Are Impalas Smarter Than We Think?

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I think that all animals are smarter than what us humans think they are. They would not have survived for thousands of years if they were not smart enough.

What an fun thought. I think they should be given more credit than they usually get!

Of course Impalas are smarter than we think they are – in fact, I think all animals are much smarter than we have given them credit for. We – human beings being told we have ‘dominion over the birds of the air ‘ etc., have never even bothered to wonder more about the amazing creatures with whom we share the planet. I think it’s time we did.

Funnily enough Patricia, yesterday afternoon, 24 hours after this post went out, we watched two male impalas do exactly this with the Nhlanguleni female, who was hiding in the bushes watching them. The impalas might have caught her scent, but there was no way they could have seen her. But they kept on alarming until eventually she figured she must have been spotted, and slunk off..

Fascinating speculation, James!

Impala’s are definitely smarter than many people give them credit for. When you live in a place where so many predators hunt you (on land, in water and even from the air), then your survival strategies have to be smart.

The problem with the question is that we are going to judge in comparison to humankind and one can argue that there are smart or not smart……Every behavior or situation that they encounter on daily basis, there will always be a way we would perceive them to have overcome such a situation….That’s what i think anyways.

Absolutely. Intelligence is a very relative term, and they probably have a type of intelligence that we can’t match, which is suited to their environment.

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