It’s that time of year again and the trees are just beginning to sprout leaves after having appeared dead for the last few months while in their dormant state. The first leaves always appear to be the greenest and the wildlife that feeds on them can’t get to the new shoots fast enough. This might be since most females have been pregnant and need to feed themselves as well as their growing fetus from the little available food. But now we are experiencing the spectacular change of seasons. Temperatures are already soring, the rain has teased us with a few sporadic showers and babies will soon be seen around almost every corner!
The long-awaited impala lambing season has finally begun. Six and a half months prior the impala rams gurgling roar filled the air, enticing the females into oestrus. As an end result we hope we will soon be seeing more and more adorable impala lambs bouncing about. Their legs are so long one wonders how they manage to stand and wobble about within 20 minutes of being born.
The mother licks the newborn clean of its placenta and in doing so also keeps it completely odourless, a way to keep predators at bay for the first day or two while the lamb and mother bond. Each ewe only has one lamb, but the short breeding season means that every able female should give birth within about 3 to 4 weeks. After mother and lamb re-joining the herd one starts to see small nurseries of impala lambs as they huddle together for warmth and safety while allowing the adults to wander a short distance to feed.