Fun Topi Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Jan 11, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Diya Patel
Interesting Topi facts about a medium-sized antelope.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Have you ever thought about what categories of animals a forest majorly comprises in large numbers? A prey and a predator, but if the prey is intelligent, highly accelerated, and almost knows how to protect itself and fellow companions from the predator, then the chase is fascinating to watch.

You are about to discover the world of the Topi antelope, an attractive, intelligent, highly social, and fast-paced animal. The Topi or Damaliscus lunatus is a fast-running territorial and highly social animal.

The Topi habitat is primarily savannas and grasslands and pastures excess of grass into the dry season. The body color of Topi is usually reddish-brown. Their populations move in a herd containing a dominating male, a group of females, and their offspring. There are five subspecies of these.

The males have more distinctive features than females. They are taller, darker than the females. Also, the males have curve-shaped horns. The other subspecies of Damaliscus lunatus are Serengeti topi, Ruaha topi, and Uganda topi.

Read on for topi animal facts. If this article interests you, we have engaging content on antelopes and Arabian oryxes too.

Topi Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a topi?

The Topi is an Antelope. It belongs to the Bovidae family. It is a larger antelope that relies on its speed to avoid predators and graze on the grass.

What class of animal does a topi belong to?

The Damaliscus lunatus belongs to the class Mammalia, order Artiodactyla.

How many topis are there in the world?

The estimated total of Topis spread in its captivity is 300,000 mature individuals.

Where does a topi live?

Topi herds are primitive to grasslands and treeless plains, savanna biomes. They are endemic to mostly eastern countries of Africa such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it is observed to be extinct in Burundi.

What is a topi's habitat?

The Topi prefers a rich habitat of green grass or dry ones, as these species' fundamental food is grass. They spread extensively over the ecotones of woodlands and grasslands rich in green vegetation even in the dry season.

The Topi is a judicious eater, and it prefers pastures with a stretch of medium height green grass, especially near waters. The Topi is generally based in flat lowlands.

Who do topis live with?

Topis are essentially social animals. They move in the herd as if alone they cannot survive for a longer period of time. They even mix with other antelopes like zebra and wildebeests during seasonal migration in the Serengeti.

How long does a topi live?

The lifespan of a topi is 15 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The social structure of these Topi herds and their reproduction are both analogous to each other. The breeding happens only once in the season for most Topi populations.

During breeding, the males follow the lekking system, with the dominant males occupying the center space and attract the potential female. It leks by standing erect on the mold of dung piles, ready to fight its competitive Topi.

The females enter into the lek of males, which is supposedly the center of attraction. As such, the females get into a tiff to mate with the captivating males as they are oestrus only for a day in the entire year.

The Topis participate in intercourse many times in 24 hours where the female is standing heat or estrous.

A greater number of offspring are observed during October and December. After a gestation of eight months, the females disintegrate from the herd on the birth of calves and stay with the calves.

These calves need a hiding shelter during the nights. The Calf is protected by mother Topi for a year or until a new calf is born.

What is their conservation status?

The Topi has been listed as a Vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The major threats to this African Topi are habitat loss, predators, and hunting for commercial purposes. However, the conservation of common tsessebe is listed as the Least Concern.

Topi Fun Facts

What do topis look like?

Topi is a medium-sized antelope; the Topi generally looks like a cross between deer and cattle. They are part of the Bovidae family built for dry grass habitats, green grasslands, and savanna biomes.

Males have larger and darker bodies than females. The horns are absent or are very small in female Topi. The males have curve-shaped horns.

The Topi color is reddish-brown, their face is highlighted with a dark color facial mask-like covering concealed to a noticeable hump-like neck. The Topi has an elongated head, and the pupil of this Topi are positioned at the side of their head like any other antelope. The reddish-brown coat is inclusive of short shiny hair all over.

Dark purple or black patches cover the Topis the upper legs. The Topi tail has a black tuft.

How cute are they?

The Damaliscus lunatus are cute to look at, and they have attractive eyes and slim bodies. In particular, the baby Topi is exceptionally cute.

How do they communicate?

Damaliscus lunatus communicate through whistles, barks, bleats, grunts, and moos. These acoustics indicate alarm calls, warnings, or greetings.

How big is a topi?

The height and length of a Topi are in the range of 39-51 in, and 59-83 in, which is almost equal to that of a hartebeest (identical to Topi).

How fast can a topi run?

They are the fastest-running antelopes in Africa. The Serengeti topi or common tsessebe can run at a speed of 55.9 mph.

How much does a topi weigh?

The weight of a Damaliscus lunatas is in the range of 150-353 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male Topi and female Topi are addressed as males and females.

What would you call a baby topi?

A baby Topi or young Topi is called a calf.

What do they eat?

The Topi diet is primarily green or dry grass. These antelopes use their elongated muzzle and flexible lips to explore their food. They have small bites of this grass while invading into it.

When their diet is principally filled with green vegetation, the Topi can survive without water. And if their food consists of dry grass, they need to hydrate with water. Studies indicate that the Serengeti topi usually feeds between 8-9 am and 4 pm in the evenings.

Are they dangerous?

These Topi antelopes display aggressive behavior only in herds. They are vulnerable species and there are records of Topi being dangerous to humans when aggressive.

Would they make a good pet?

The Topi usually live in herds and are social animals, and they prefer an open grass habitat. Hence there are no predominant instances of having Topi as a pet.

Did you know...

The Topi populations are endangered with loss of habitat. Humans hunt these species for their horns and meat.

During mating, if the Topi males are not at the center of the lek system, it is ideal for them to stay near water bodies to gain the female attention.

In Topi populations, the females are equally powerful and fight with another entering into the range to prevent them from accessing the dominant male of their territory—likewise, the male fights with the opponent trying to enter its social group and mate with its harem.

The Topi are also called tsessebe, sassaby, tiang. This animal is active mainly during daylight and rests at the shadow corners of their grass territories.

In the absence of a dominant male in the Topi territories, the strongest among the females occupies its position leads the herd. The female also can extend gestation and postpone the labor if there are immediate threats or unfavorable conditions.

The baby Topi or calves receives extra protection in the herds. The Topi calf is also called hider.

What is special about topis?

The Topi has preorbital scent glands that emit clear oil. Their front legs contain hoof glands.

Topi social structure

The herds organize either in the perennially sedentary dispersion or perennially mobile aggregated structures, depending on the type of habitat. Irrespective of the pattern, the herds are territorial.

The males build the territory and captivate females to enter into the territory with the young. Each female is in alliance with a territory for up to three years. The strength of these herds can range from 10-20 Topi.

The males and females protect their herds equally. In small structures, males are protective of females and young, whereas, in large groups, males focus only on mating females and subordinate females.

Topis create territories during resting periods in Uganda's Queen Elizabeth National Park. In contrast, in the Akagera National Park in Rwanda and Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, territories are formed from herds following the lek system.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the nyala or greater kudu.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our free printable topi coloring pages.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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Fact-checked by Diya Patel

Bachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

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Diya PatelBachelor of Science specializing in in Computer Science

A member of Kidadl's fact-checking team, Diya is currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science from Ahmedabad University with an interest in exploring other fields. As part of her degree, she has taken classes in communications and writing to expand her knowledge and skills.

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