Shoulder height 80cm. Weight 60–75kg
Unless you see them beside each other, puku can be hard to distinguish from red lechwe – though the adults are generally slightly smaller than the lechwe. They are also stocky, orangey-red antelope with shaggy coats. Male pukus have stout, ribbed horns which curve forwards at the tips, though are shorter and spread out less than a lechwe's horns.
Puku are grazers, typically inhabiting open plains adjacent to rivers or marshes, or woodland fringes. They are always found close to water, although are not as fond of completely flooded areas as lechwe. Puku usually feed early or late in the day, and will often lie down in the shade during the heat of the day.
They are one of Zambia's most common antelope, found throughout western and northern Zambia, and the Luangwa Valley, although they are noticeably absent from the Lower Zambezi Valley. South of Zambia, puku are exceedingly rare, occurring only in one small corner of northern Chobe; to the north they are native to areas of Malawi and the DRC, and common in Tanzania.
Young males form bachelor groups, from which prime animals break away to form territories. The more dominant the buck, the more attractive are the feeding resources within these territories, into which they attract females. Breeding takes place between April and July and thus calves are born in the green season when food resources are abundant.