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Hiding behaviour in wild gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) fawns

Hiding behaviour in wild gerenuk (Litocranius walleri) fawns

Zeitschrift fuer Saeugetierkunde, 563: 159-168

Studied the hiding behaviour of wild gerenuk fawns as one important aspect of early development and ecological adaptation. Hiding changes gradually to the anti-predator strategy of the adults and ceases by month 4. Bushes and small trees serve as day hiding sites; night hiding is in heaps of dry branches. Nursing is twice per 24 hrs, and fawns change hiding sites after each nursing period. Both mother and fawn show extraordinary site fidelity; behavioural mechanisms allow for reunion after voluntary or enforced separation. Only during the first 3 weeks of the hiding phase do mothers consume the entire feces and urine of their offspring. Subsequently the fawns defecate and urinate on their own, outside their hiding sites. The investigation was carried out in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, in 1984 and 1985, and is based on the life histories of 17 females and their 30 known age fawns, all individually identifiable.

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Accession: 021131163

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