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Impala Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jenny Homer

Jenny has masters' degrees in public health and public administration.

In this lesson, we'll learn about the impala, an antelope that lives in the African savanna and woodlands. Find out what these animals eat, about their life cycle, and the amazing way they protect themselves.

What is an Impala?

When we talk about animals in Africa, most people think of majestic lions, tall giraffes, and striped zebras. The impala may not be as well known, but it is a strong animal with some awesome abilities.

Impalas are a kind of antelope that live in the eastern and southern parts of Africa. Impalas have tan coats with white and black markings and a tail. When full grown, impalas are about 3 feet tall at the shoulders and weigh 88–167 pounds. The males look even larger because of their wide horns, which are longer than those of other antelopes in the area. Only the males have these horns.

Male impala
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During the rainy season, impalas eat grass. They change what they eat and travel in the dry season when there isn't as much grass. Impalas are herbivores because they eat plants. Impalas live in the woodlands and the savanna; their ability to eat a variety of plants helps them survive. As humans build roads and communities in their land, we affect where impalas can live and move.

The Leaping Impala

Can you imagine having to defend yourself against a lion, one of the fiercest and most powerful animals in Africa? Impalas face lions and other predators, animals that want to eat it, like cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas.

Impalas live in herds or groups in the rainy season. In some ways, being in a group makes it easy for predators to find them, but impalas have a trick when they're attacked: one impala will jump up and make a loud noise or signal that tells everyone to run! As the impalas run all over the place and make huge, long jumps, the predator gets mixed up. Impalas can jump 33 feet long and 10 feet high!

Herd of impala
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