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Sean Zeederberg

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As a young boy growing up on an agricultural farm in Zimbabwe, Sean spent every opportunity entertaining himself outdoors, camping in the local nature reserve and learning about all facets of the natural world. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental ...

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on Breaking The Mould: The Story of the Rare Horned Female Impala

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I had forgotten about her, Sean. Thank you for doing a follow-up. I’m glad to see she’s thriving despite going against impala-societal norms. Humans would do well to learn from this wonderful example.

Senior Digital Ranger

Very interesting. I hope she continues to strive! Thank you for this article.

Hi Sean, this impala with the horns is an extraordinary case. I have never heard or seen this before. The fact that she has lived this long without being killed by predators is amazing. She is walking the bachelor herd know, maybe the females feel intimidated by her horns. Shame, whatever the future holds for her,is intriguing to watch, wait and learn from her.

Thank you for answering my question from several days ago about whether the female impala with horns was still around.

The story of this animal is indeed full of surprises. Interesting, how there is mixture of male and female aspects.

Hi Sean, I found out several female impala with horns, in Madikwe, in Kenya and other places. The fact that the female in Madikwe has the same shape, length, use of her horns like your impala is food for thought. Maybe some females may feel on the edge, pressed for some reason. But an identical shape may have a genetic cause too… I followed some lionesses in Botswana who were under great psychological pressure because of ever-changing dominant male lions. They developed manes and had higher testosterone levels. They were sterile, but stronger and imposing, very capable to defend their pride from male invasors. An impala female can be under pressure for several reasons, including a too high number of males, too many predators (male impala defend themselves quite well when experienced), scarse resources…. we are in the realm of hypothesis. Very, very intriguing! Thank you for posting it, the pictures are fantastic!

This is a brilliant example of nature’s extraordinary diversity and surprise! Thanks so much for posting about this wholly unique and resilient female impala with the stunning horns Sean!!

This was a fascinating read Sean. I’m curious whether you’ve contacted antelope researchers to learn if any other national parks or reserves have encountered a hermaphrodite in their antelope species. How do you keep track of her movements since she’s not tagged/collared and she could be anywhere in the reserve? More questions…. The only hermaphrodite animal I’ve encountered was a maned lioness in the Okavango Delta, resting with her pride, patiently allowing the small cubs to climb all over her while their mothers slept.

I’m reminded of Maleficent! My second thought was happy that she wasn’t shunned from her herd and is accepted by both males and females (and couldn’t we learn so much from animals?)! I wouldn’t think she’d be any more prone to predators than the next male…other than you mentioned she’s smaller?

How interesting Sean. Nature always seems to find a way to accommodate an individual within their species. Thanks for including her in your blog.

Such a beautiful impala and till holds a certain elegance that the ewes have that rams don’t even with horns on her head. I hope we get to see more stories about this impala in the future as her story continues to unfold.

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10 April, 2798
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