Why did the waterbuck sit on a freshly painted toilet seat?

Why did the waterbuck sit on a freshly painted toilet seat?

Sara • 04/17/2024


There are many myths around why the waterbuck has a white ring around his bottom. One story is that waterbuck were believed to be the first animals to climb onto Noah’s Ark; when they climbed aboard, they went to the toilet before their long journey, and because the toilet seats were still wet with paint, they left a distinctive ring for everyone to see!

The trademark white ring around its bum is used as a “follow me” sign so that if one of them spot a predator the rest know where to follow to get away from becoming dinner for one of the hungry cats.

This photogenic antelope boast a number of evolutionary adaptations that have made it a major success in the environment.  

As its name suggests these animals are very water dependent and will never be seen too far from a permanent water sources. They’ve been known to evade predators by rushing into water as the cats such as leopard, cheetah and lion are very reluctant to get themselves wet even if it means missing out on a meal.

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Waterbuck have a lot of hair around the neck making them look like they should be in much colder climates but there is a functionality to this hair as it is all hollow and light for waterproofing.

This hollow hair allows for extra buoyancy when swimming keeping their heads above the water. Not only that, the hair releases an oil to repel the water and keep the hair reasonably dry – how’s that for evolution?

This oil has a foul smell and was believed for a long time to keep crocodiles at bay, but but this has since been disproved over and over again as on 2 occasions last year we saw crocs feeding on waterbuck at Sabi Sabi. The latest theory is that it may aid as an insect repellent and will therefore keep tick numbers down.  

So this antelope is more than just a pretty face!