bontebok, noun

Forms:
bonta bock, bontbokShow more Formerly also bonta bock, bontbok, bonteboc, bontebock, bontibok, buntebock, buntebok.
Plurals:
unchanged, or occasionally bonteboks, bontebokke /ˈbɔntəbɔˌkə/.
Origin:
South African DutchShow more South African Dutch, attributive form of bont parti-coloured + bok antelope, goat.
The antelope Damaliscus dorcas dorcas of the Bovidae, now found only in the south-western Cape; bontebuck. Also attributive.
Note:
Of the same genus and species as the blesbok (see quotation 1990), and similar in appearance. Historically the bontebok occurred in the western Cape, extending eastwards only as far as Mossel Bay, and reports of sightings beyond that area indicate confusion between bontebok and blesbok (see quotation 1837).
1776 F. Masson in Phil. Trans. of Royal Soc. LXVI. 287There is a fine species of antelope, which inhabits only here, called by the peasants Bonte Bock; something larger than a fallow deer, very shy, but not very swift.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. I. 277I have never seen the bonte-boks live otherwise than in large herds on the plains, and these were at least half as tall again as the bosch-bok.
1796 C.R. Hopson tr. of C.P. Thunberg’s Trav. II. 44The young Bonteboks are at first of a reddish brown colour, but, in time, become spotted with white.
1827 G. Thompson Trav. 95Among the antelopes I observed a species..called the bles-bok. It much resembles the bonte-bok, which is found in the vicinity of Swellendam.
1837 N. Polson Subaltern’s Sick Leave 128North of the country of the Amakosa Kafirs is an immense extent of undulating downs styled the ‘Bontibok Flats,’ from the number of bonti or blesbok that are found there.
1866 J. Leyland Adventures 81Its colour is so beautiful, and markings so distinct, as to give rise to the name of Bonteboc or Painted Goat.
1897 H.A. Bryden Nature & Sport 273The bontebok (Alclaphus pygargus), or pied antelope..resembles very strongly its near relative, the curious blesbok...The bontebok first attracts the eye by the singularity of its colouring, the downward slope of the hind-quarters, the pronounced hump, and somewhat heavy, ungainly shape.
1947 L.G. Green Tavern of Seas 154The bontebok has a glossy, purple-brown coat like a plum. A white patch on the rump, and a continuous white blaze down the whole face are the only marks by which you may tell a bontebok from a blesbok.
1974 E. Prov. Herald 7 Sept. 6Even more serious is the plight of the bontebok. There are only about 700 of these animals left, only 400 of which are living in protected reserves in the Cape.
1990 Skinner & Smithers Mammals of Sn Afr. Subregion 627The species D. dorcas must have had a wide and continuous distribution...Through climatic changes..it became split into two populations which..have diverged in character, leading to the recognition of the two subspecies..the bontebok, D. d. dorcas, and the blesbok D. d. phillipsi.
The antelope Damaliscus dorcas dorcas of the Bovidae, now found only in the south-western Cape; bontebuck. Also attributive.

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17761990