The Antidorcas marsupialis, known as the Springbok is one of the most beautiful and graceful antelopes within the Klein Karoo. In Afrikaans, French and Spanish its called “Springbok” and in German its spelled “Springbock”.
The name of the antelope originates from the Afrikaans word called “Spring”, which means to jump.
This is an extremely unique trait of pronking. Below we explain why the ancestors gave the springbok its specific name.
The dark brown band alongside the flanks of the animal separates the light brown upper parts from the white under parts. The head of the springbok is white with brown stripes on both sides of the head running through the eyes to its corner of the mouth.
Springbok proking within the wild
The springbok goes into sessions of repeated high leaps which could go up to 4m/13 feet into the air, which is called pronking.
Did you know? The Afrikaans word for Pronk means to show off.
While the springbok pronks, it leaps backwards into the air and when it goes down, its back bows, therefore the white fan lifts.
The latin word for springbok meaning marsupialis, originates from the presence of its pocket like skin flap, that opens the top of the white erected hair on the springboks back.
While the exact reason for their behaviour is unknown. The springbok shows activities when they are nervous or either excited.
One theory of pronking is to indicate predators that they might have spotted or possibly to show their strength and fitness.
When running away or fleeing from a possible predator, the springbok will not pronk but will run at speeds up to 80km/h.
Pronking also enhances their vigilance and gives the springbok a clear view of its surrounding and the danger.
Visit the Springbok in the Kein Karoo and watch them Pronk!