February 29, 2016
A Leaping Lope
- as seen by -Julie Larsen Maher
Celebrate Leap Day with one of the great athletes of the animal kingdom, the impala.
While working in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia, I came upon an impala herd standing as still as statues as if waiting for some game to begin.
Then, without warning, they took off, each one gliding over a nearby gorge to a river.
For the medium-sized antelopes, leaping serves two purposes—it’s for safety and for sport. If pursued by a predator, an impala can long jump nearly 33 feet and clear obstacles with a high jump of about 10 feet.
When not on a desperate run, though, they still leap for fun.