Oribis are small delicate antelopes found in Africa. They have a slightly raised back, and long neck and limbs. The glossy, yellowish to rufous brown coat contrasts with the white chin, throat, underparts and rump. The bushy tail is brown to black on the outside with white insides. Only males have horns that are thin, straight and smooth at the tips and ringed at the base.
Oribis are found in eastern, southern and western Africa, ranging from Nigeria and Senegal in the west to Ethiopia and Eritrea in the east and southward to Angola and the Eastern Cape (South Africa). These antelopes live in savannahs, floodplains, tropical grasslands, and montane grasslands. Recently burnt areas also often attract groups of oribi.
Oribis are active mainly during the day, but sometimes may also be active at night. They are social and live in small groups that consist of up to four members. However, during the rainy season, when grasses are abundant, oribis can associate in bigger groups. Males are territorial and defend their group's territory from intruders. They mark vegetation and soil in their territories by preorbital gland secretions and excrement. Oribis have a very interesting behavior called the "dung ceremony", in which all animals form temporary dung middens. They do this in order to maintain social bonds within the group. When threatened, oribis prefer to hide in bushes or grasses and stay still with their ears down. If they are spotted, they will sprint through the open plain. After 200 m they may look back to see if they are still pursued, and will run again in a zig-zag motion in order to lose a predator. When alarmed oribis may make vertical leaps with straight legs; this behavior is called "stotting". When sensing danger these antelopes produce alarm whistles. These whistles are usually made by adults, and males appear to whistle more.
Oribis have a polyandrous (a female has multiple mates), polygynous (a male has multiple mates) and polygynandrous (promiscuous) (both males and females have multiple mates) mating systems. Oribis are seasonal breeders and the time of mating varies with location. The peak usually occurs in the rainy season, from August to September. Females give birth to a single calf after the gestation period that lasts 6-7 months. In southern Africa births peak from November to December. The newborn is kept in hidden place during the first month after birth. The mother visits her calf regularly to suckle it for nearly half an hour. Males may guard their offspring from predators and keep away other males. Weaning usually takes place at 4 to 5 months. Females become reproductively mature when they are ten months old and males are ready to start breeding at fourteen months of age.
Main threats to oribis are poaching, agricultural expansion and competition from livestock.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of oribis is around 750,000 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.