This is one of the heaviest antelopes. They can be easily distinguished thanks to the ringed horns of the males and the fact that they can grow to one metre in length.
There are two quite genetically different sub-species although there is a lot of hybridization between them in their wild state. Their name comes from their affinity with water.
They have longer and more splayed hoofs than most antelopes to enable them to move around the muddy beds of rivers and ponds and they won’t hesitate to run towards water if they feel threatened as they are good swimmers.
Adult males very aggressively defend their territory and the females tend to live in small groups.
Waterbucks, which came to occupy the entire Sub-Saharan Africa, have been eliminated from many areas and their population is diminishing on a daily basis. It is estimated there is a worldwide population of some 200.000 specimens, of which half are in protected areas.