The Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Sylvaticus), also known as Imbabala, it is medium-sized and widely distributed around sub-Saharan Africa. They are shy and elusive creatures and are solitary animals, but are not aggressively antisocial, and individuals sometimes forage in close proximity. Bushbuck are incredibly strong swimmers, easily crossing rivers and dams 3 km in width.

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Bushbuck stand around 60 to 90 cm (24 to 35 in) at the shoulder and weigh from 60 to 80 kg (130 to 180 lb) in males and 25 to 60 kg (55 to 132 lb) in females. They have a light brown coat, with up to seven white stripes and white splotches on the sides. The white patches are usually geometrically shaped and on the most mobile parts of their bodies, such as the ears, chin, tail, legs, and necks. The muzzles are also white. Horns, found only on the males, can reach over half a metre and have a single twist. At 10 months old, young males sprout horns that are particularly twisted and at maturity form the first loop of a spiral. The Bushbuck has on average less striping and more uniform colouration than populations in West Africa.

A pre-mating ritual does take place between the ram and ewe in the form of touching, resting heads on top of each other as well as vocalisation. The ewe will reach sexual maturity around the age of 14 months, while the male will reach his around the same time, however mating will only occur around the age of three years in the males (in all likelihood this is because of hierarchy among the older males within these small home ranges). With a gestation period of 6 to 7 months some females are able to reproduce twice a year, a single calf is born. The birth peak is generally during the rainy season in dry regions, but in high-rainfall areas there are not really any peaks. After giving birth, the mother cleans the newborn calf and eats the placenta. The calf does not follow its mother out into the open to forage until it is four months old. It remains hidden in the dense underbrush in the meantime, and its mother returns periodically to nurse the calf.

They need water every few days but can survive on dew or moisture from the grasses they feed on. Leguminous herbs and shrubs making up most of the diet. They may also eat grass, fallen fruit, acacia pods, tubers, bark, and flowers. Although they will eat a wide variety of plant species when hungry, they are somewhat selective when possible, prefering knobbly creeper and sausage tree.

Leopard are the primary enemy of Bushbuck, but Lion, Hyena, Wild Dog, Cheetah and Crocodile are among the other animals that prey on them, while the young are also preyed upon by Eagle, Serval and Python.

Bushbuck make deep, loud barks when alarmed. These calls sound similar to the bark of a large dog. The alarm call of the Bushbuck is similar to that of the Nyala, however the call of that species is usually slightly lower in pitch and more hoarse. Males generate a succession of grunts and groans as part of their wooing display throughout the mating season.


Bushbuck live within a “home” area, which is usually around 50,000 m2 on the savannah and much larger in the forest, that they will not normally leave. These areas usually overlap other Bushbuck home areas. It is found in a wide range of habitats, such as rain forests, montane forests, forest-savannah mosaic, savannah, bush veld and woodlands.


What is Bushbuck Taxidermy?

Bushbuck taxidermy is the art of preserving the Bushbuck’s skin and other body parts to produce lifelike sculptures for display, either at home as a hunting trophy or in museums for educational purposes. Skin is preserved and mounted on an artificial armature to display the specimen.

The contemporary English word “taxidermy” is derived from the Greek terms taxis, meaning “movement,” and derma, meaning “skin,” thereby combining these two meanings. This is why, in a broad sense, taxidermy is synonymous with “the motion of skin.”

For expert taxidermists, skills in sculpture, painting, and sketching are just as important as those in carpentry, woodworking, tanning, moulding, and casting.

The remaining parts of the body are synthetic replacements for real organs and tissues. Polyurethane foam is used for the manikin or form, which includes the anatomy of every muscle and vein; glass is used for the eyes; clay is used for the eyelids; for the nose and mouth the foam of the mannequin is sculptured.

Works of taxidermy can be found in a wide range of environments, including museums, classrooms, galleries, stores, restaurants, and private households, due to the complexity and delicate craftsmanship involved in the taxidermy process.

Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity. Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost. Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.

The Bushbuck taxidermist’s process and method

When making an Bushbuck mount, careful planning is key to getting a high-quality result. When tanning and oiling the skins, only the best chemicals and methods are used. This ensures that the skins will last for many years.

Your preferred form for the Bushbuck will be chosen after taking your measurements into account, and the posture of your form will be changed at no extra cost. Full-mount Bushbuck trophies come with bases made to look like the animal’s natural habitat and made just for the Bushbuck mount.

The taxidermy process at Life-Form takes your prized Bushbuck trophy and gives it a whole new meaning by using only the best materials and drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the field.

When repair is needed, every effort is made to fix cuts and scrapes and lessen bullet damage. Existing scars are left alone unless the client asks for them to be taken away.

Taking care of your Bushbuck trophy

Using the helpful tips below, it’s important to take extra care of your prized Bushbuck trophy to make sure it stays in perfect shape for years to come.

  • To keep your Bushbuck mounts looking their best, it’s important to put them in the right place with the right temperature and humidity.
  • To keep your mounts from fading over time, try not to hang them next to a sunny window where they will be in direct sunlight for a long time. If you can, don’t put taxidermy near direct heat sources like furnace vents or wood stoves.
  • A taxidermy trophy should be handled and cared for like any other expensive and fine piece of art. Mounts should only be touched when they need to be.
  • If you want your mounts to look their best, you should dust them often and gently. A feather duster works well, and then you can wipe away any remaining dust with a damp cloth in the direction of the hair.
  • People often say that things like furniture polish work well to clean hair or fur, but you should avoid using them. Over time, these things can actually gather more dust and moisture.
  • You can also use compressed air or a vacuum with a soft brush for the scenery. Be careful to work gently and follow the natural direction of the skin.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in glass cleaner to clean the eyes, and then use a clean, dry swab to polish them.
  • Even the most prestigious museums and trophy rooms have had items damaged by insects. Moths and tiny demisted or carpet beetles are the two types of insects that are responsible for this problem, so it is worth fumigating the room regularly.
  • A fine repellent mist should be sprayed all over the mount, and then the product should be carefully combed into the hair. A blow dryer can be used to restore the fluffy appearance of the fur on animals that have it.


How much does a Bushbuck trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements.

Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you. Please contact [email protected]

How long does a Bushbuck trophy take?

Taxidermy is an art form that involves a complicated step-by-step process to make sure that each trophy looks just right and is of a high enough quality that it will last your whole life.

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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