Bontebok Impala by Jon Ciarletta
My first experience of seeing Bontebok and their close relative the Blesbok antelope occurred in 2017 while on safari in South Africa. More solid and darker in color than the Blesbok, both the Bontebok and Blesbok have a blaze of white on their face beneath their eyes to their snouts, and they otherwise appear physically consistent as medium sized antelope. A mature male Bontebok sports a pair of ringed horns of 14 or more inches in length. The Bontebok remains a prized trophy among hunters; once near extinction in the 19th century, hunting organizations, Professional Hunters, and conservationist revived the species to its current levels over 250,000 and rising. Its Blesbok cousin remains among the most common of all antelope in Africa today. While the Bontebok is a herd animal, males are often encountered alone as was the buck I recreated in my painting.
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