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Male (Zambia)
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Kobus
Species: K. vardonii
Binomial name
Kobus vardonii
(Livingstone, 1857)

The Puku (Kobus vardonii) is an antelope found in wet grasslands in southern Democratic Republic of Congo and in Zambia.

Puku stand about 80 centimetres at the shoulder and weigh from 70 to 80 kilograms. Puku are sandy brown in colour, the underbelly is a slightly lighter brown. Their coat is rougher than the similar-sized Southern Reedbuck, Lechwe or Impala, or the smaller Oribi. Males have around 50 centimetre long ridge structured horns which are very vaguely lyre-shaped.

Puku are found almost exclusively in marshy grassland and dambos where they eat grass. Puku are crepuscular, they are active in the early morning and late afternoon. When scared, Puku repeat a shrill whistle sound. Females gather in herds of up to twenty individuals. During the rainy season many herds will come together for added safety, typically reaching around fifty females. Males hold territories and attempt to persuade herds of females to stay within their territories for as long as possible.


  1. ^ IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group (2008). Kobus vardonii. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 17 January 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of near threatened

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