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Roan Antelope

The roan antelope, which goes by the Harry Potter-esque scientific name of Hippotragus equinus, is found in small populations and geographic pockets across sub-Saharan Africa. One of the largest species of antelope in Africa (males can weigh up to 300kg), the roan is often mistaken for the sable antelope, which is darker in colour; like the sable, the roan has a shaggy neck and an oryx-like face. They are found in open savannah and light woodlands throughout their range, where a single male will lord it over between five and 15 females; males often clash over territory and control of the harem.

According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which gives the roan 'Least Concern' status, there are an estimated 76,000 roan across Africa, but the species nonetheless remains at risk of decline due to habitat loss. Unusually the roan is doing well in West and Central Africa, but is in decline in East and Southern Africa. Although the species is doing reasonably well in Tanzania, its last foothold in Kenya is believed to be Ruma National Park. A small population may still survive in the Shimba Hills, southwest of Mombasa.