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Animal File

Common Name:
Scientific Name:
Damaliscus pygarus phillipsi
Size: 85 - 110 cm
Weight: 55 - 80 kg
Native to Africa

Conservation Status

Least concern

African antelopes, blesbok, are so-called as “bles” in Afrikaans means “blaze” and refers to the very broad white stripe down the animals’ faces.  Blesbok can live to around 17 years of age and their greatest threat in the wild is from predation by big cats, hyena and jackals.  Surprisingly, they aren’t accomplished jumpers like many other antelope species, but have been seen to crawl underneath fences instead.

Blesbok give birth to one calf which then, unusually, stays alongside its mother at all times.  Most other species would hide the youngster in the undergrowth to prevent it becoming a meal for a hungry big cat.   They are often warned about the proximity of predators by the males in the group which grunt and snort an early warning to the rest of the herd.  During the cold, dry months, blesbok often form large groups of up to 650 individuals.     

The blesbok at Blackpool Zoo share a paddock with the giraffes and are fed on horse and pony pellets, hay and vegetables. 

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The health of our zoo family, which includes our visitors, staff and animals, is our top priority. In light of the most recent advice from Public Health England and the government, we have closed Blackpool Zoo at until further notice.

Please be assured that our dedicated keeper team will continue to provide the best care for our animals during the closure.

If you’ve booked tickets for any day during this closure, you can exchange them for any other date in 2020 or we can provide a refund. Please send your booking details to

We’ll keep you informed through our website and social media channels. We apologise for any disappointment and thank you for your patience.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Blackpool Zoo when we re-open.

Stay safe everyone.