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Suni Antelope
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Neotragus moschatus
ORDER: Artiodactyla
FAMILY: Bovidae
RANGE: Southeastern Africa
HABITAT: Dry country with dense, tangled underbrush
DIET: Leaves, buds, fungi, fruits
ENEMIES: All predators the size of the suni and up, including cats, birds of prey and snakes

The suni is a small, shy antelope, standing 12-to-16 inches at the shoulder and weighing 10-to-12 pounds. The general coat color is reddish brown, with the back darker than the flanks and legs; the head and muzzle are reddish, with a lighter ring around the eye. The underparts, including the chin, throat and insides of the legs, are white. The legs are ringed with a black band just above the hooves. The black, wide-set horns, borne only by the male, are ridged for most of their length, and grow three-to-five inches long, slanting back in line with the face. Almost independent of free water, the suni seems to derive sufficient moisture from the vegetation it eats.

The suni is primarily active during the evening and night, sleeping during the day in a shady, sheltered area. Excellent camouflage is used to its fullest advantage. When danger approaches, the suni freezes, remaining hidden until the threat is nearly upon it, then it leaps up and dodges around bushes and shrubs, quickly vanishing into the undergrowth. The male defends a territory of about three hectares, scent-marking the boundaries with preorbital gland secretions. On the peripheries of each defended area may be individual or communal dung piles. Each male generally associates with a single female, even if others share his territory. Vocalizations include weak barking and sharp whistling.

A single calf, weighing about two pounds, is born after a gestation of 183 days. Most suni in the U.S. can trace their roots to the Dallas Zoo. Over 158 births have occurred since the original animals arrived in 1967.