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Menelik's Bushbuck

Menelik's bushbuckThe handsome Menelik's bushbuck is a highland antelope race, endemic to Ethiopia. It can be easily seen around Dinsho at Bale mountains National Park and in the Entoto hills and other forests near Addis Abeba.  They are forest- living animals inhabiting dense bush, usually near water, though this is not an essential, as some of them have been known to go without drinking for long periods when necessary.

Menelik's can be seen in much of Ethiopia's highland forest up to the treeline at 4.000 meters (13.000 ft.) They are common, for example, in the cedar forests of Menagesha and parts of the Entoto range, No accurate estimate has been made of their total population because of their nocturnal and furtive habits.

In Bale, as you climb up through the Hagenia forest with its flowering trees, and enter the zone of Giant Heath and St. John's Wort, sunlight dapples the ground beneath your feet, lichens hang softly from every twig and bright dark green mosses clothe the branches. Suddenly a glimpse of bright chestnut draws your attention to the female bushbuck, and usually not far away is the shining dark, almost black, male. Bushbucks are often solitary, but in Bale anyway, Menelik's is almost always seen in pairs or small family parties of female and young.

They are extremely beautiful little animals, with a coat longer than that of other bushbucks, perhaps because of living in the lower temperatures of high altitudes. The horns, which are carried only by the male, have a spiral twist and a well-defined longitudinal ridge or keel on the front or back surfaces, and transverse rings. The record horn length is 35 cm.