SIZE: Shoulder height 35 cm, mass (m) 5 kg, (f) 5,4 kg. Only the males have horns.
COLOUR: Reddish-brown with a speckled appearance as the hairs are tipped a lighter colour. Underparts and insides of legs white or whitish. Top of the head darker than the rest of the body, and a narrow dark band encircles the legs just above the hooves.
RECORD LENGTH OF HORNS: 9 cm
MOST LIKE: Blue Duiker, but slightly larger and females hornless. The rich, red-brown colour of the upperparts of the suni should not be confused with the slate grey to dull brown of the duiker.
HABITAT: Dry, densely thicketed bush country or forest.
The Suni is independent of drinking water, and gets its liquid intake from its food. Suni’s lie in the shade of bushes or trees in the midday heat, and are perfectly camouflaged, but their twitching tails may give their presence away. They will freeze when disturbed, but will jump up at the last moment from their hiding place and bound away, usually with a characteristic backward glance once they have travelled some distance.
They are normally either solitary or in pairs, although they may be found in small family groups. The suni has a high pitched, barking cry which is used when danger is sensed; it can also emit a whistling snort. The male suni bleats like a goat when it pursues a female. Their single offspring is born during the summer months between August and February, and has a darker, deep reddish-brown coat. Lambs up to a week old hide, and their mothers visit them two or three times daily to suckle and clean them.
The Suni is a tiny reddish-brown antelope. The females are slightly larger and heavier than the males. Suni feed for a short time, then rest while ruminating before resuming eating. This is due to their high metabolic rate, and the fact that they have difficulty digesting the coarser parts of their diet, which consists of leaves, shoots and fruits.
WILDLIFE PARKS AND RESERVES WHERE THIS SPECIES IS FOUND:
• Hluhluwe Game Reserves
• Kruger National Park
• St Lucia Wetlands
• Lower Zambezi
• Lake Kariba
• Mana Pools