Like their close relative the waterbucks, kobs are closely associated with water. Kobs are found on river banks and beside watering holes on grasslands and along the edge of woodlands. Most feeding takes place in the early morning and evening.
Kobs employ what is known as a “lek” mating system - a system also used by some large deer, bats and birds. The males display in a lek - an array of small territories that are purely symbolic of the male’s status because they are too small to hold enough resources to feed the male let alone a mate and young. Females move through the lek and choose which male to mate with. Most matings take place toward the centre of the lek, and territories there are highly contested. The dominant males fight for control of these central areas, and the best territories often change hands.
Male waterbucks have horns measuring about 44 cm (1.5 ft) long. Females do not have horns and they are also generally smaller than males.
Only fully mature males can compete in the lek. Younger males stay with the females and young, where they may attempt to mate with females. This unwanted attention drives the females into the lek, where the younger males will not follow. Outside the mating season, the males live in separate herds to the females and young. The males play no part in raising their young.
Distribution: Western and Central Africa south of the Sahara Desert.
Habitat: Savannah and woodlands.
Food: Grasses and reeds.
Size: 1.6 - 1.8 m (5.25 - 6 ft); 105 kg (231.5 lb).
Maturity: Between 1 and 2 years; males are unlikely to mate for several years.
Breeding: Dominant males display together in small territories called a lek. Females choose mates and produce a single calf born at end of rainy season.
Life span: 20 years.
Status: Lower risk.