Defassa Waterbuck

Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa

Like water off a buck’s back

Waterbucks have numerous glands that secrete an oily substance, coating the fur and making it waterproof – perfect for life in wet habitats.


  • Origin

    Africa, from Ethiopia to Senegal in the east and Angola in the south

  • Habitat

    scrub and grasslands close to rivers and lakes

  • Diet

    grasses, foliage and aquatic plants

  • Status

    near threatened

  • Size

    1,20 up to 1,40 m (shoulder height)

  • Weight

    Male: 200 to 300 kg
    Female: 160 - 200 kg

  • Gestation period

    255 to 260 days

  • Achievable age

    up to 12 years in the wild, up to 20 years in human care

Threat Categories of IUCN

Maternity leave

After birth, baby waterbucks stay hidden in the tall, protective grasses for around four weeks before mother and child re-join the herd. The calves stay with their mothers for around 9 months.


Did you know that ...

...only male waterbucks have horns,
...the females live with the young in nursery herds and the males stay in bachelor herds,
and male waterbucks don’t reach sexual maturity until 6 years old, while the females are fertile by the age of 3?

Adopt an animal

Lend your support to the Zoo’s modern, high-quality animal keeping and care by becoming an animal sponsor.


Opening hours

Today, 19. May
9:00 - 18:30
Last admission: 17:00
Opening hours

Feedings & Trainings

  • Panda talk 11:00
  • Elephants 11:30
All feedings


Zoo map