PUKU - Kobus vardonii

The first impression one gets of the puku is that of a large teddy bear. Their shaggy appearance, distinct ears and black muzzles all add to the effect - you may be shooting at your child's favourite soft toy...

They are golden-brown, medium sized antelope that are heavier than impala but smaller and lighter in color than their cousins, the lechwe. They are easily identified from impala as they do not have the black tips on their ears nor the black stripes down their buttocks.

puku male in luangwa valley CITES
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Puku form herds of females and young with the males establishing a territory which they protect, courting females passing through during the mating season.

As their cousins the lechwe, they are never found far from water living in the surrounding floodplains and open woodlands. They are most often seen grazing at dawn and dusk but are often encountered throughout the day. 

Males are often found lying down during the heat of the day in dry pans and ox-bow lakes.

The abundance of the puku in some areas makes them easy targets for predators and during a safari they are commonly used for leopard bait.

hunting tips - the hunt
Puku are usually hunted incidentally while pursuing other larger game and their abundance does not make them a difficult trophy to find. 

hunting tips - the trophy
A good male will have thick bases rising outward into heavy ringed horns. The width of the initial spread, past or level with the ears is usually a good indication of a prime male. Long smooth shiny tips also add extra inches.

hunting tips - where
Today, most puku are hunted exclusively in Zambia where they are widespread in the Kafue and Luangwa GMAs. They do occur in parts of Tanzania and Botswana but they are seldom hunted there.

good male - luangwa zambia
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