Antelope spotted with a spider's web between its horns

Weird wild web: Antelope is spotted with a spider’s web between its horns

  • Tourists were concerned the oryx was trapped in plastic at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana
  • When the animal approached, they realised a densely woven spider’s web was wrapped across its horns 
  • Visitors saw the animal over a number of days with the web still covering its face in the unusual sight 

An antelope shocked safari visitors when they spotted a spider’s web densely woven between its horns.

The tourists were initially concerned that the animal was trapped in plastic at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana.

Jess Isden, 39, saw the oryx in the distance through a pair of binoculars and thought it looked unusual.    

An antelope shocked safari visitors when they spotted a spider’s web densely woven between its horns and covering its face

The tourists were initially concerned that the animal was trapped in plastic at the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana

Unable to work out what was wrapped around the animal’s horns, the group feared it was rubbish and were about to help free it.

But as the antelope walked closer to their car, Jess, who works for conservation research company WildCRU, realised it was a thick spider web.

The whole space between the oryx’s horns had been covered by the web which had even been built over the animal’s face and down its nose.

Jess, originally from Bromley, London, said: ‘We were bemused and confused when we first spotted it. We saw it through binoculars and couldn’t quite make it out at first.

The whole space between the oryx’s horns had been covered by the web which had even been built over the animal’s face and down its nose

As the antelope walked closer to their car, Jess, who works for conservation research company WildCRU, realised it was a thick spider construction

‘When we realised it was a spider’s web, we just thought it was odd. One of the group I was with has lived in Botswana for 30 years and they hadn’t seen anything like this before.

‘I’m not sure if the web got there by accident and the oryx couldn’t be bothered to get rid of it. I thought people might have seen it before but it does appear to be quite a rare occurrence.

‘We saw it over a number of days and the web was there the whole time. It wouldn’t have been a new one every day so I don’t think the oryx was too concerned. 

‘At first we thought it was some plastic stuck in its horns and we were hoping it would come closer so we could help it out in some way. As it wandered closer to the road we realised it wasn’t rubbish fortunately, it was actually a web.

Jess Isden, 39, from Bromley, saw the oryx in the distance through a pair of binoculars and thought it looked unusual

‘There were a couple of spiders running around on it. It was very calm and just carried on eating some grass.’

Jess took the photos last year but has only just uploaded them to social media to try and find out more information about why this could have happened.

She said: ‘The web came down over its face so the oryx might have just walked through it. 

‘A few people have suggested some symbiosis between the two animals but it doesn’t appear to be that common a thing.

‘We did see some other oryx with webs in but theirs were nowhere near as thick and matted as this animal.

‘Some people have suggested there were lots of spiders around because it had been wet but when we saw the oryx, it was in the middle of a drought and they wouldn’t have been around.’

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