Tuesday, January 26, 2010

One of Angola's Treasures: The Giant Sable Antelope

The Giant Sable Antelope, also known in Portuguese as the Palanca Negra, is a large, rare species of antelope on native to the region between Cuango and Luanda Rivers in Angola.  The antelope is held in a great respect by the country and people of Angola and regarded as one of its national treasures.  In African mythology, just like other antelopes, they symbolize vivacity, velocity, beauty and visual sharpness.

Thought to be almost extinct, because of the ravages of the 27 year civil war which decimated the animal's population, there have been five confirmed sightings recently in its native habitat around the Cuango River.  Several animal conservation agencies are currently working to protect and repopulate the antelope to conserve its species.

The Giant Sable is a national symbol of Angola and is portrayed on numerous stamps, banknotes, and even passports of the nation. The Angolan National Football Team, currently playing in the African Cup of Nations hosted in Angola, is fondly known as the Palancas Negras in honor of this antelope.

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