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Saut de gazelle Springbok.jpg

Roaming the central plains of southern Africa is the slender springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), the National Animal of South Africa. Within the last 100 years springbok numbers have greatly declined, but older Southern Africans still remember a time when springbok herds were so large they took several days to pass their farms. Its striking body colouring distinguishes it from other antelopes; cinnamon-brown upperparts and white underparts, separated by a dark reddish-brown band that runs horizontally from the foreleg to the hindleg. A crest of white hairs runs along the back of the springbok; these are normally hidden beneath two folds of scent-secreting skin, but can be seen when the white hairs are erected in alarm. The head is white with a dark streak through each eye to the corner of the mouth, and the ears are long, narrow and pointed. Both male and female springbok have beautiful heavily-ridged lyre-shaped horns, although those of the female are much more slender.