• Email


Rare discovery: a hermaphrodite impala

  • December 27, 2019 | Rhulani Safari Lodge

We couldn't believe our eyes. In the middle of an Impala herd, we discovered an animal with somewhat strangely shaped and unusually long horns. It soon became clear that it was not a male. It was a female with a genetic defect.

The hermaphrodite impala in the middle of a herd of females

The horns are unusually long and thin

The horns were more like those of an oryx or a springbok. Long, and thin. It was indeed an impala, which we discovered in the middle of a breeding herd, together with other females. A female with horns? A hermaphrodite impala? That can not be real...

"Such malformations are rare, but they can sometimes occur," says Rhulani’s Ranger Martin, during which we also marveled at the rare specimen. Otherwise the animal looked quite normal.

Martin immediately recognized from the obvious parts that it was undoubtedly a female. Interestingly, the female used the horns much like a male. Sometimes it bowed its head and made a little more space thanks to the horns.

This was one of those sightings where we got reminded: The African bush comes up with a surprise every day!